Smile, even when you don’t feel like it

A smile.  It costs nothing, but does so much.  It is a universal gift you can give anywhere you go.  It can make an awkward situation easier.  A single smile can be remembered for a lifetime.  

Not only is a smile natural medicine for those around you, but smiling also boosts your own mood and immune system.  Even if you force a smile, your body releases endorphins that relieve stress.

Smiling makes you more beautiful and is contagious.

Even in situations that seem to be the worst of worst, you can still find a smile. I was in such a situation on my trip to Venice, Italy.  I had always heard about this beautiful, romantic city and I finally had the opportunity to go there.  I was instantly captured by its unique beauty as I rode in the ferry to the main city square.

Small, beautiful canals, with boat and gondolas were everywhere we looked.  Although the weather was quite chilly, I felt the warmth of the city’s charm.

My friend and I settled into our small hotel, and then we had one thing on our mind: the famous Italian homemade pizza and pasta.

We anxiously made our way through the narrow, confusing streets of Venice, which are only accessible by foot, in search of that delicious plate of pasta we had imagined in our mind.

We found a good restaurant, eagerly sat down, and without hesitation asked for a large pasta and pizza.  We savored every bite of our meal, especially the cheesy, warm pizza, drizzled with olive oil freshly made by the chef.

We were more than satisfied.  We had the whole evening ahead in this romantic city to explore, take a stroll with an ice cream in hand, sit along the canal, and enjoy the environment and people.  With smiles of satisfaction, we started our evening walk through the city.


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It’s easy to get lost in Venice with its many canals and narrow streets.  Some places you can spread your arms and reach from one side of the street to the other.  It felt like a maze and if you don’t pay attention you can end up far from where you are desire.  Since we weren’t in a rush, getting lost seemed fun.  We would turn whatever corner came our way, visit a few shops, and end up in another section of Venice.

 The perfect plan. However, suddenly our plan suddenly took a different turn; this time for the worse.

I felt an overwhelming sensation come over me.  Suddenly the narrow streets that once seemed so charming lost all charm in an instant as I entered into a state of panic.  “I think I am going to get sick,” I told my friend. That was only the beginning of very long first night in Venice.

Instead of the stunning night that I had painted in my mind, it turned into a game of “find the toilet or trashcan”.  A virus was with me all night and into the morning.

I felt so much disappointment.  I had paid for my trip to a dream city and traveled all that distance, only to find my reality was that I was sick.  Given that we were only spending limited time in Venice I decided that I was going to put aside my disappointment, smile, and force myself around the city.  I would make the most out of the 5-10 minute gaps of time in which I was not throwing up.


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Shifting from focusing on my disappointment to choosing to smile transformed the trip in Venice.  Changing my perspective and putting a smile on my face did not change my reality; I was still running for the trashcan every 5-10 minutes.  However, what it did change was the outcome of the whole trip.

When we are faced with a not-so-pleasant situation we have two choices: Frown and focus on how bad our situation is or put on a smile (even when you don’t feel like it) and try to make the most out of your experience.

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Don’t forget to also read: 

Consistency in Achieving Your Goals

13 Life Changing Principles for Your New Year

Top Experiences You MUST Have In Spain


Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comSmile, even when you don’t feel like it