Beating Depression: Just Smile!

Hey guys!  I’m back with a new life lesson I’ve learned, one in which I believe is extremely important and an incredibly easy thing to do to help get out of a Dark spell.  That lesson is being pleasant.  All.  The.  Time.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  “Be pleasant all of the time??? Lo, that sounds exhausting.”  That’s what I thought too when I witnessed it for the first time.  However, after trying it for the past week, I can honestly say that being pleasant consumes a ridiculously smaller amount of energy than being rude/indifferent/ in a general bad mood.

The people I have to thank for this valuable lesson are Lindsay and Shay Hayes, owners of Viridian Coffee (FANTASTIC coffee might I add, 10/10 would recommend), one of the places I am currently blessed to be employed.  These two people are two of the most phenomenal people I’ve ever had the privilege to know, and just in the couple of weeks since I’ve met them they have already done so much for me and been great role models.  My first interaction with Shay was a 16 hour road trip (yes, 16 straight hours, I did the math.) to Dallas in order to pick up equipment for his coffee shop.  We met at 7 am and from the time we met to the time I went home, I don’t remember the man ever not smiling.  At 8 am when we picked up the U-haul trailer, he was loud, personable, and pleasant to everyone at the U-haul place, and I noticed something.  Not only did Shay seem to be happy, but he affected everyone in that store.  When we walked in, everyone was half asleep (rightly so, it was 8 am for goodness sakes!) and not particularly excited about working.  However, by the time we left, not only had Shay been able to put everybody in a better mood, but he made the workers there actually want to help him in any way that they could.  All with a smile and a cheerful attitude!  It blew my mind.  Throughout the day I witnessed this happen time and time again.  Even when things weren’t going his way, he never lost his good attitude and somehow, everything seemed to work out!  It was unreal.

Since then, I’ve tried to do the same, and I’ve noticed something.  My ENTIRE DAY IS SO MUCH BETTER.  Seriously!  It doesn’t matter if I’m on my feet working at the restaurant (I also wait tables at the local country club.  Gotta make that money some how!) or the coffee shop, or at the store getting groceries.  If I just try to be pleasant, my whole day turns out better.  AND I am way less tired by the end of the day, which is pretty incredible considering I’m working two jobs and before I was just lazing around the house watching Netflix.  I’m sure everyone remembers your grade school teachers telling you it takes less muscles to smile than to frown.  Apparently, there’s some truth to that!

Another thing about being pleasant all the time is that it not only makes your day better, but everyone around you leaves in a better mood than before they saw you.  Shay and Lindsay teach all of us who work for them that our main job is to serve people.  They want everyone who walks into Viridian or pulls through the drive-thru to leave in a better mood than that which they came, with the added bonus of having a great cup of coffee.  In order to do that, we have to smile and be pleasant the entire time we are working.  And it really works! (Don’t just take my word for it! Hop on over to their Facebook page and read some of the reviews! People come to Viridian because the staff puts them in a great mood.  So, I decided to try it at the restaurant I work at and got the same results!  People were coming up to me just to tell me that my attitude radiated through the restaurant and made the entire meal that much more enjoyable.

“Now Lo, That’s all fine and dandy, but how exactly am I supposed to be pleasant while I’m in a severe episode of Depression?”  That’s simple.  Ever heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it?”  Of course you have.  And that’s exactly what you do.  Try this.  Just smile. No matter how tired you are, or how depressed you feel, just smile.  Smile when you talk, smile when you’re walking down the street, whatever.  Just. Smile.  I promise, it will change your whole day.

3 thoughts on “Beating Depression: Just Smile!

  1. You’ve discovered a great truth! It is amazingly powerful. I wish I had learned this at your age but, am thankful at the difference it has made since figuring this out. We are responsible to share and be that example for everyone around us. Not all of us can be as flamboyant as Shay Hayes . He’s definitely gifted. We can all be sincerely happy for others and want happiness for them. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m bi-polar as well, and I both agree with and disagree with this advice. (I liked your piece and your advice, my disagreement is just from my own personal history) I find for some reason, when I’m in a bad place, and I’m alone—or with someone like my wife who I trust completely— I have a hard time forcing myself to smile, to be positive. I can however force myself to get ‘up’ when seeing people I’m not as comfortable with, and often this makes me legitimately feel better (like you said fake it until you make it.) I’m really glad to see this post, and I hope this keeps working for you, and I will try to be more mindful of doing it myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. It definitely is a lot harder to do when you’re alone. I try to make myself get out and see new people when I get like that. Like even just running to Sonic to get a drink forces me to try and be pleasant to the workers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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