And that is another week over! At times, days are flying over whereas at other times the days feel like an eternity. No matter how time is passing, what the staff at Harlow Green are definitely feeling now is that they are missing the children. They are missing the connection and the time spent supporting and helping children to learn and develop as well as just being in their company.
Regardless of the challenges, every day I see staff coming into school with a smile on their faces. This is replicated very much by the children who are coming into school so that their parents can go to work in the key roles that help us all. When I occasionally visit shops to get my family’s essentials, I am also witnessing shop assistants smiling with their customers as they manage the strange systems in stores (from a safe distance of course!). During my daily walk with my family, we pass others, and everyone now says hello and smiles in a way that wasn’t always the case.
Although we are currently working our way through times which can be worrying and even a little scary, the power of people smiling has never been so clear. The difficulty with isolation is that some people may not get to be part of larger groups where lots of people are smiling and who are generally positive. This makes it all the more important for people to smile at each other whether they are in the house with their immediate family, going for their daily walk/run/ride, or out at the shops attempting to get food and items (particularly flour and toilet rolls!).
Even though we must keep 2 metres apart, it is essential to remember that a smile can radiate way beyond this distance but also have immeasurable and lasting impact on us all.
Six facts to show why we should continue to smile
1. We Were Born Smiling
Using 3D ultrasound technology, we can now see that developing babies appear to smile, even in the womb. When they’re born, babies continue to smile, initially mostly in their sleep.
2. Most people smile more than twenty times each day.
Unless you’re a child, and then you smile up to four hundred times each day. No wonder being around children makes us happy!
Smiling is one of the most basic biological human expressions. Studies of Papua New Guinea tribes that are completely disconnected from western culture show that they smile the same way we do: they use smiling to express joy and satisfaction.
3. Smiling is contagious!
It’s evolutionary. Humans have evolved over time to mimic other people’s expressions in order to experience their emotion physically, helping us understand their emotional state.
This is why it’s so difficult to frown at someone who is smiling back at you.
4. The act of smiling actually makes us feel better.
Charles Darwin wrote about this phenomenon in his “Theory of Evolution,” describing how facial feedback helps us feel better when we smile. The physical act of smiling sends feedback to our brains, telling us we’re happy.
5. Smiling stimulates our brain better than chocolate.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? It’s true! Chemically speaking, one smile stimulates the human brain the same amount as eating up to 2000 bars of chocolate!
6. Smiling makes you healthier.
Smiling causes a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing mood-enhancing hormones and reducing high blood pressure. It also reduced stress chemicals. Not too shabby!