Do not underestimate the power of a smile. Smile as often as you can because it affects your mood in a positive way. The latest brain research strongly suggest that smiling (even if it is a forced smile) releases endorphins and chemicals associated with pleasure and well being.
Feeling joyful makes us smile. What many people do not know is that if we deliberately smile, messages are sent to the brain where the brain chemistry that is associated with feeling pleasure is activated.
There is a simple reason for this: according to neuroscientific research we have a “facial feedback – loop”; when we engage our facial muscles in a “smile-like gesture”, it is registered by the brain in the same area where the pleasure centers are located and endorphins, “the feel-good chemicals” are released.
When you’re really in a funky mood, you should try smiling – even if you don’t feel like it. Try “faking” it initially by biting into a straw or a pencil while retrieving a pleasant memory or think about something that makes you feel happy. Most likely you will start noticing how the fake smile turns eventually into a true smile and you will feel your mood starting to lift. You will get the most benefit with a genuine smile.
But there are other reasons to smile, as the author Barbara Larrivee eloquently puts it in her book “A Daily Dose of Mindful Moments”: when we smile at people, we are perceived as being more trustworthy, which may impact how we interact with others in general and our relationships at work.
Neuro-Tips To get More Smiles Into Your Day:
.Take a moment to remember someone else’s act of kindness toward you and smile while you savor their gesture.
. Make a mental list of the people that care about you. Close your eyes and try visualizing them standing next to you. Then, immerse yourself in the warm and loving feelings that come up and allow yourself to smile.
.Think about some fun and exciting activities that you may be planning or would like to plan – such as a vacation coming up or a special outing with friends – and get excited! Then, savor the feelings of fun and excitement and smile.
*** A smile or two a day keeps the blues and the antidepressants away.
So, why wait? Make a habit of it.
Put a smile on your face and smile away 🙂
1. Elkman, P. Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life. (2007) NY-Owl Books
2. Elkman, P & davison R.J. Voluntary Smiling Changes Regional Brain Activity. (1993) Psychological Science
3. Barbara Larrivee. A Daily Dose of Mindful Moments: Applying the Science of Mindfulness and Happiness. (2018) Santa Barbara, CA. Shoreline Publications
This post was mindfully crafted by Fanny Elizaga.
For information about Mindfulness.NeuroCoaching, visit www.fannyelizagacoaching.com