Do you ever catch yourself smiling spontaneously? I don't mean in a social setting with people, but spontaneously, all by yourself?
Earlier I saw our resident red cardinal in the shrub with his wife - cardinals are lifelong companions - and the sight brought a spontaneous smile to my face. On a New Year's walk a few days ago, several beautiful nature sights made me break out spontaneously into a smile. Earlier I went outside and the winter sun shone on my face. I felt myself smiling - no one around. And of course the many absolutely adorable animal video clips that abound on social media are guaranteed to elicit a curling up of the corners of my mouth.
Sarah Stevenson writes in her guest blog in Psychology Today about the endorphin feedback loop that happens when we smile in reaction to someone else’s smile, “…when I smile, the world smiles back.” Well, nature and animals don’t smile. Yet, my subconscious or my soul picks up the unconditional love of animals, or the unconditional beauty of nature, and spontaneously releases endorphins and elicits a smile just like in a social setting with a person.
Stuff for thought.