Happy International Day of Happiness!
Do what you can today to share happiness, love and smiles with others, and encourage those who receive it to pay it forward.
One person who will be doing this today, and every day, is Jim Moss. I “know” Jim from our days in the pro lacrosse world. No longer on the turf due to a neuromuscular autoimmune disease, Jim is now the Founder and Chief Happiness Officer of The Smile Epidemic.
The what?! Oh ya, I had to know more. Thankfully Jim answered all of my questions.
The Smile Epidemic is a digital visual adaptation of a gratitude journal. Jim started it as a process of cheering himself up when his legs continued to falter and he need a reminder of how lucky he was. When he first became ill, he used a written gratitude journal and found it helped a great deal. Since then, Jim has done quite a bit of research on positive psychology and the gratitude journal is one of the most studied practices of that type of psychological intervention. It is intended to draw your attention to the multitude of positive things that we have available to us at almost any given minute in our life – even when, psychologically or physically, we feel like crap!
It came about because Jim is more of a visual learner and had a lot of people tell him that they had found his writing about the predicament to be inspiring. He didn’t take the time to write as often as he wanted. This was a way to alter the gratitude journal in a visual representation that takes a picture and combines it with a quick message about what we’re grateful for. It made it quick and easy and therefore more likely for him to do on a regular basis. It was entirely started for his own selfish desire to maintain an upbeat mood, then people started to request more pictures, suddenly people started posting pictures of their own.
Watch this quick video to learn more:
I’m a firm believer that improving yourself is always in fashion, and that you’re never fully dressed without a smile, so when The Smile Epidemic App launched for iPhone, I signed up right away. Smiles and selfies? My two favourite S’s.
Man, I give some seriously good eyebrow.
The main goal is to spread happiness. Very simply, leave the world a better, happier place. The Smile Epidemic provides a great simple way to share happiness amongst friends and strangers but also on a more complex level it opens up and creates opportunities to have really important conversations about how happiness, well-being and psychological health can be proactively worked towards and not just reactively addressed once in need. The concept of proactively grooming your own disposition is about the cheapest and best way to diminish and or avoid the potential effects of state based psychological maladaptation. That means “understand what, why and how you are most likely to be happier and then just do that instead of leaving it to chance or in other people’s hands”. It also means that we can really impact our levels of resilience and hope and optimism and that can serve us well to protect us from letting our low times get too low. It doesn’t mean we won’t have low times, we need them and they are a fact of life, it just means we have tools to help us control whether they get too low, and to help us return to baseline and above more quickly and easily.
So, how do you get involved? Great question! Download the app for iPhone, Android, and even BB-Z10 and take the 30-day Challenge – I’m on day 17 – and notice what that does to your life. Jim can only tell people to “trust him” because the impact is incredible
If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it. – Andy Rooney
Sending a smile,