2 days until we step in 2011. It seems like not too long ago 2011 existed only in science fiction movies where cars were flying and people were half robots. And the truth is that all the sci fi theories were not too far off. We are a very technologically advanced society compared to the last century. We can cross the oceans in one day, we can video chat with people living in other continents for free, and we can even point a tiny device to the sky that can tell us about the stars (iphone app). Our grand parents would not believe such things were possible when they were our age!
However advanced we are, the nature still rules our world. And the last few days in New York and Eastern Europe made it very clear. We are still almost powerless when it comes to nature’s whims. One day of unexpected weather and thousands of people are stuck without electricity and heat, all transport systems are out of whack, and anxiety levels are through the roof! For me it was a good lesson. After spending 2 extra days in Toronto, Canada, 3 flights cancelled, 6 itinerary changes, several trips through security and custom lines, and still not at the final destination point as of now, all I can do is breathe and smile. And I feel good about it:). The last 2 days taught me a good lesson: when you can’t do anything to correct the situation, when you feel powerless in front of the circumstances, the least you can do is SMILE and breathe.
Humans like to be in control. We like to plan things and be certain about the future. When things don’t go according to our plan our little world collapses leading to anxiety, stress, anger, and a bunch of health issues. Come to think of it and you will realize that negative reactions don’t make any situation better. They won’t clear out a snowed in airport, they won’t get the trains back on schedule, and they probably won’t make a 5 hour long cab line (at Newark) go any faster. However, your smile might make you and people around you feel better.
I am not a resolutions type of person but if I were to make one for the next year, it would be to smile through difficult situations and make the best of it.
Besides making you feel better, smiles have several more benefits:
– our brain releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.
– the world will smile back. people are more likely to help you and support you when you smile
– smiles makes us more attractive
– you will save yourself a doctors visit in the future. Smiling reduces stress levels, blood pressure, and as a result the risk of a heart disease
– smiling is an easy way to make others happy. It is very contagious. If you smile at someone there likely response is to smile back at you
– smile is universal. It is welcome and understood in all corners of the world from New York to the rice fields of Thailand
Cheers to a smiley happy New Year!