The holidays continue for some of us, along with all the yelling at cars, pushing in lines, and wanting to put your head in a vice. There are some ways to get boosted, and probably help your fellow holiday victims.
This train of thought began with the simple observation of the Roti exit machine. It’s simple, as you walk away from your transaction you hit one of the faces to rate your experience. Only, I’m the only one I’ve ever seen do this in the 3 months of going there every day. People don’t notice? Think it’s stupid or worthless? With a little bit of logic, you can see that the employees that didn’t spit in your food are going to have their employment & wages affected because corporate thought it was a great idea. The benefits of pushing that button for yourself is a little bit of warmth at the joy of altruism.
This got me thinking about how weary the faces are, the dull expressions, and their not making eye contact, all things showing that they’re feeling the strain, and a habit I developed a couple of years ago. Smile completely with all 42 muscles, smize, and all. Do it anyone, especially the grumpiest ones. You would be amazed at how many people react with a smile and/or kind word of their own. Not only do you get the endorphins from the smile itself, but you get another little rush knowing the other person saw. This is a small, free, act of altruism with little chance of burn out. Besides, if you’re a woman, you’ll even seem more trustworthy. (Do not practice in dangerous areas)
Looking at the bigger picture, each time you smile at a person, their brain coaxes them to return the favor. You are creating a symbiotic relationship that allows both of you to release feel-good chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers, make you both more attractive, and increase the chances of you both living longer healthier lives.
There are many little forms of altruism opportunities around you. Like that Roti machine and all those other little things you can do in a second to benefit others. Hold open a door extra long for someone carrying packages. Take a moment to walk slower next to an elderly person as they transverse ice. These and anything else you can find will not only affect your health but the health of those around you.
Related Studies (If you want to know more with the big words)
- Helping Others, Warming Yourself: Altruistic Behaviors Increase Warmth Feelings of the Ambient Environment
- Smiling in Pain: Explorations of Its Social Motives
- Intensity of smiling and attractiveness as facial signals of trustworthiness in women.
- Oxytocin: the Great Facilitator of Life
- Facial mimicry and emotional contagion to dynamic emotional facial expressions and their influence on decoding accuracy
- Predictive and Reactive Mechanisms in Smile Reciprocity
Maid cafes will definitely be in a future post.