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Why is a Smile Important?

Of course, when we’re happy, it shows on our face. This is a good thing. 

Another good thing... smiling sends a message to our brain to release ‘happy chemicals.’ ‘Happy chemicals’ feel good.

Messages are also sent to those around us, that we’re not angry, sad, or distant and disconnected, but approachable... and most of all, not going to harm them. (I’m classifying this as a good thing too! lol)

 

These are the obvious positives... I’m more intrigued with what’s not so typically obvious. 

(In case you missed it - I’m a wee bit obsessed with Psychoneuroimmunology, a.k.a. the Mind/Body/Immune System Connection)

 

Clearly we wear our emotions on our face. When you’re stressed, it shows. When you’re happy, that shows too. 

Here’s where this cool mind/body connection comes in... Our facial expressions can trigger emotional feelings and signal our body to respond accordingly. In other words - PUTTING on a sad face or a smile DIRECTLY PRODUCES THE FEELINGS that the expressions represent.

 

There are many ways we can use this to our - and everyone else's - advantage. 

It’s really quite simple and straightforward.

Greet your neighbor with a {real} smile as you walk on by. {no Cheshire Cats!} 
A smile is powerful!
Not only will this foster a sense of community and support, but several muscles in the face are connected to the Vagus Nerve, which facilitates relaxation! 
When we activate the muscles associated with smiling, we activate specific messages sent to the brain, which release those happy chemicals. We can actually trick the brain into feeling happier. 

(This is where smiling meditations, the pencil in the mouth paradigm, and making the sound ‘e’ {Say Cheese...} come in.)

Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin - which decrease stress levels, relax the body, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and serve as an antidepressant/mood lifter.

Smiling is contagious. (...just like yawing, and tension.) (Yes, tension is contagious!!) 

Smiling is a gift that is accessible to everyone. Give one away, and you’ll likely get several in return! 

The ripple effect of a genuine smile helps nickel and dime our surroundings toward positive and healthy. 

 

Use Your Smile to Change the World. 
Don’t Let the World Change Your Smile.