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Walk, smile, say hello, repeat!

Going for a walk exposes us to the opportunity to meet other people. Greeting others with a smile, whether neighbours or strangers, improves our sense of well-being, in our bodies and in our minds, ensuring that we return home happy instead of irritable, and friendly instead of grumpy. No need to say anything, a smile is enough.

Psychologists speculated that smiling can improve our mood, even a forced smile, but they didn’t know why. And studies show that by practising smiling you can trick your brain into feeling more cheerful. The brain is stimulated and releases neurotransmitters that make us feel more positive. We may even notice that the people around us are happier. It works like a waterfall of positivity. You see the world from another perspective.

Forcing a smile may take some practice and seem difficult at first, but if we think of it more as activating a smile, with repetition and over time it becomes a natural habit. Thus, human exchanges improve our sense of well-being.

Smiling at others while walking also creates a more united and functional community. And study after study shows the importance of community in improving our well-being.

So, smile at everyone during your next walk!

Source: 52 ways to walk: Annabel Streets – Bloomsbury Publishing