I took a different route on my morning walk. A woman was walking her dog up her driveway, and the dog picked up the newspaper. He wagged his tail as he carried the paper in his mouth going back into the house.
It was one of the sweetest moments I've seen in months.
So many times we live our routines without stopping to see what's on the road. We live life too fast, too hurried, as if getting there faster will make things better. Oftentimes, it's living life a little more slowly and mindfully allows us to find something to smile about every day.
In the book, How God Changes Your Brain, smiling is actually good for your brain. Newberg and Waldman write, "Even if you don't feel like it, the mere act of smiling repetitively helps to interrupt mood disorders and strengthen the brain's neural ability to maintain a positive outlook on life." Even seeing pictures of people smiling has been found to elicit a better mood.
Of course, there's always the microaggression, particularly towards women, in getting others to smile. And honestly, if I see other people smile and I'm in a pissy mood, seeing other people smile makes me more pissy.
However, if we're in a pissy mood, that's a call for us to find something to smile about. That might mean doing something differently today. It might mean turning off traditional channels, media, and routines and trying a new route.
We also can return to the things that make us smile or laugh. Some of my go-to places are old episodes of Seinfeld or Cheers. I also love to watch Stephen Colbert. And because I can be goofy and ridiculous, I always smile when I see Justin Timberlake dressed as a cup of soup singing, "Soup, there it is!"