How can middle school become a happier place? A smile is—for a whole host of reasons—a great way to start. As the Mary Tyler Moore show famously taught us, we can turn the world on with a smile. But it turns out smiling does a lot more than that. Just the simple act of smiling not only builds camaraderie with others but also unleashes neurochemical reactions that make us happier and more relaxed.
Heathwood’s Middle School students gave their smile muscles a workout this week by participating in a fun new themed day called “Hey Day.” All students and faculty members were asked to greet everyone that they passed with a “hey” and a smile. During Advisory, students and teachers discussed the benefits of a smile, such as the release of endorphins which leads to making us feel less stressed and happier, the invitation to others to engage, and the ability to make someone else smile, thus passing the positive benefits on to those around us.
Throughout the day, students and teachers passed each other with smiles, waves, and “heys,” and the smiles and positive energy were abundant. This day was a great way to build community and allow everyone to step outside of their comfort zones, while learning about new ways to be #mindfulinthehall.