A smiley kitchen elf25.02.2016
I’m Chris from Malta, and it’s now been a month since I arrived at KISC as a Catering Assistant, helping out in the kitchen to feed our many hungry Pinkies and guests.
A lot’s been happening here the past few days and there have been plenty of reasons to smile, what with some more snow (finally!) followed by sunny weather which translated into great skiing opportunities, one busy Winter Ski Week with over 300 smiling guests, and one email confirming that I’ll be staying in Switzerland for another nine months!
That said, it has also been harder than usual to smile these past few days. Following the busy week, it’s of course nice when things calm down a bit and the days get shorter - yet with the end of Ski Week comes a bit of a post-Ski Week blues. Almost overnight, a bustling, busy Chalet momentarily turns peaceful again as we say goodbye to hundreds of guests. Besides the guests, we’ve also had to say goodbye to the many Helpers, old friends and new ones alike, who came over to KISC to temporarily join the staff team during this busier time. It’s also starting to sink in that there’s just over a week and a half left till the Winter season comes to an end (time’s flown by!), and with the end of the season I’ll soon be parting ways with people I’ve spent much of the past month working, smiling and laughing with.
But enough about me already. Allow me to present to you, in no particular order, eight particularly good reasons to keep smiling*!
- Smiles may not always come naturally, but psychologists have found that even when you’re having a bad day, forcing yourself to smile can instantly boost your mood
- Smiling releases endorphins, even when it’s forced. This relieves stress, helping the body to relax, boosting the immune system and contributing to a better health in the long run
- Smiles are contagious. Other people find it hard to frown when faced with a smiling you, and their muscles often automatically twitch into smiles of their own before they can help it. Not only will you feel better – you’ll be spreading the happiness too
- Smiling burns calories. Depending on how complex or intense your smile is, you may be stretching anywhere from five to fifty-three different muscles each time you smile
- That said, smiling still requires less muscle effort than frowning. Tired? Not an excuse
- Smiling is a universally recognised cross-cultural sign of happiness. Handshakes, hugs and kisses may get complicated in a multicultural environment. Smiling, though – much easier!
- Smiles can be recognised from around 90 metres away, farther than any other facial expression
- Smiles are more attractive than makeup. In a study on the perceived attractiveness of faces, subjects were shown three images of the same face, one with only a neutral expression, another with a neutral expression and makeup, and a third without makeup yet smiling. The majority, 69% found the smiling image to be the most attractive
(One final fact. Smiling is an innate human ability. Though it takes newborn babies a few weeks to master the complex muscle movements behind smiling, researchers know that smiling is not a socially acquired behavioural trait since even blind babies smile. And babies know best, eh?)
So whatever it is that you’re up to this week, don’t forget to smile! And remember that the real challenge comes not with smiling when everything’s going well; it’s to keep smiling, even when it’s not!
*Read the full lists here and here.