“When Irish Eyes are Smiling, sure ‘tis like a morn in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,
And When Irish Eyes are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.”
This beautiful little Irish song was written in 1912 by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. and was sang to me by my father many times during my childhood.
Today, as we walk around wearing a mask on our face, we have lost some connection not seeing each other smile. I miss seeing the smile on your face as I pass you by.
Studies have shown that a smile can make us feel good. For me just thinking about smiling makes me want to smile. The more I smile, the better I feel. Each time we smile it releases those feel-good chemicals of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can lift our mood, reduce our stress and make our day better.
I dare you, just take a moment and try not to smile, now that I have you thinking about smiling. You can’t can you? Can you feel that smile getting bigger and bigger?
As well, a smile is infectious according to research published in Neuropsychologia. Have you ever noticed that when someone smiles at you, you naturally smile back at them? Try it with a loved one at home during this time of isolation. Smile at them and see their response.
By smiling, not only have we boosted our mood, but we have increased the happiness around us. As Louis Armstrong sang
“When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.”
If a smile is so infections, can you do it wearing a mask? Well, Yes with a wink and a smile. The answer is simple as the Irish little diddy says “and your eyes twinkle bright as they can be”.
Here is a little trick that I learned from singing with the Sweet Adelines. Your eyes are the key to a beautiful smile. Check your smile out in a mirror. As you grow the smile on your face, watch how your eyes open, your eyebrows lift and you get those lovely little wrinkles in the corners of your eyes.
To help, think of some recent fun memory; something that feels good in your heart. Lift your head and allow the smile to grow. It is amazing how simple little changes in your body can have such a massive impact on how you feel.
Next time you are going for groceries with your mask on, I challenge you to smile your biggest smile ever with someone you see 6 feet away. Watch how their face changes, how their eyes lift.
We all need connection during this time of isolation. We all need a bit of joy in our lives. You can connect with someone and make their day just by smiling with your eyes. You can do this with friends that you know, a stranger in line or the essential workers at the cash. It is easy; it is simple. Just follow these Irish words to keep your eyes smiling:
“You should laugh all the while and all other times smile
An now smile a smile for me”