This week, my walking partner, Debi, was out of town, so instead of being engrossed in our conversation, I was engrossed in the early morning world.
What did I notice?
Many people were looking down.
Others averted their gaze. Lots were talking on their phones, listening to something through their headsets or sending a text, tweet or email. One guy mastered the trifecta: riding his bike with headsets on and texting.
A study published in Surgical Technology International found that bending your head at a 60-degree angle puts 60-pounds of pressure on your neck. That’s the weight of 4 bowling balls on your spine.
Save your spine and see the world…by looking up!
Be curious. Notice what people are wearing: a head scarf, an unusual hat, a cool haircut. Notice their glasses, the message on their t-shirt, or a uniform of some sort. Notice their beard, the color of their eyes or the look on their faces.
Looking strangers in the eye is not a universally safe or accepted practice in all cultures or urban areas. However, there are plenty of times, when looking up, making eye contact, and acknowledging another person, can make all the difference.
For the next 30-days: Look up.
Widen your eyes, lift your brow to acknowledge someone, or give a slight smile.
You may experience what psychologists call mirroring. It’s the subconscious, non-verbal behavior that can lead to building rapport and empathy with a person across the table, in the hallway or on your walk. Maybe it can lead to a simple and pleasant,“Hi.”
For the few people who were looking up on my walk, it was amazing to see their expressions change when I caught their eye, nodded, & said “Good morning.”
In these fragile times, a brief, pleasant connection is a good thing. Imagine what it could do for someone else’s confidence and maybe yours, too. If nothing else, looking up may help save your spine.
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