Key points

  • Smiling is infectious
  • Smiles are free to give, and to receive
  • Create a circle of goodwill, at work and at home

According to the lyrics of a popular song, when you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you, and as I listen to the words being sung on a YouTube video clip, it really brings a smile to my face. However, it also goes on to say "cry and you cry alone!" And that, I'm afraid, is also a truism.

A smile can be a great energy booster both for the giver and the receiver, so why don't we all smile more often? You may say that you don't always feel like smiling or that you're not in the mood. That may well be the case but just think of the effect of your mood has on those with whom you meet, your spouse, your colleague or your child.

If you walk into the office with a sad, depressing look on your face, the chances are that your colleagues will want to avoid you, by keeping busy at their computer screens, or desks, and giving you a wide berth during the day. Nobody much likes to mix with sullen people.

Everyone prefers to spend time with optimistic, friendly people.

For instance, if you have the opportunity to buy a product that is stocked by two different shops, one being where the sales assistants always smile and are friendly, and the other store where they always appear to be disinterested in you, my bet is that you will go to the one where you feel most welcome.

Warmth and vitality

And that is applicable throughout life and throughout all relationships. A happy person draws others to them, to share their warmth and vitality. If you have ever attended a networking event you will know that those who are most successful in their networking are those whose smile invites others to join them and talk — because that is what networking is all about.

It's about sharing information with others for the advantage of both and a successful networker is the one in any group who smiles and makes you welcome to join them. Or put in another way: if you're not prepared to smile and appear friendly, then you will be wasting your entrance fee!

Smile and the world smiles with you

Our smile creates the mood — whether we are at home or at work. Your face tells the story. We smile with our eyes and that projects warmth and energy, which tends to be infectious for those others around us.

Negativity breeds negativity and realistically who wants to be around a negative person!

So isn't it time to engender workplace happiness and bring that smile with you to work and then hopefully, you can take more smiles, from others, back home with you. Being sad or withdrawn is a lonely existence because everyone prefers to be with happy people.

A simple smile can relieve stress and help you stay positive because you will be receiving feedback from those you meet and that provides a circle of goodwill that helps everyone who is a part of it.

People will interact differently to you — even on the phone. Sales personnel are taught to smile even when speaking to prospective customers even if it is not face to face because of the effect that this will have on the voice.

Smiling can make or break a day, or make or break a deal!

So why don't we smile more than we do. It is not difficult unless you are really not in the mood to engage with people.

However, if you can smile even though you may not feel like it, you will encourage the other person to do the same and then this may well lift your own mood.

But I can hear you saying that if you smile when you don't feel like smiling, then you may be regarded as insincere.

The key is to make the effort without being insincere. We know that smiling is infectious, so try to spread more of it around the workplace.

It makes every one just a little happier. And a smile is free. Free to give and free to receive. That's why it's such a precious gift!

Try and give as many as you can to as many people as possible, everyday.

The author is a BBC Guest-Broadcaster and Motivational Speaker. She is CEO of an international Stress Management consultancy and her new book, ‘Show Stress Who's Boss!' is available in all good bookshops.