The One Habit for Instantaneous Happiness
It’s a busy Monday….your morning has been filled with teenager issues, meetings, and new deadlines and you’re already begging for Friday to be here. Frustrated you didn’t bring lunch, you run out of the office to grab a quick bite somewhere. You’re in your thoughts when you look up and some random person walks by you, looking straight in your eyes and giving you the most genuine smile. The corners of your mouth twitch and you can’t help but smile back. While small, something deep inside you perks up and your day is looking ever so slightly brighter…maybe Monday isn’t so bad after all…
Smiling is universally considered to be a way we display joy. It can communicate our internal world to people on the outside as well as serve as a welcoming sign to new people. As we (JOYVIAL) thought about creating a “Smile for JOY” day, we learned others are just as passionate as we are about spreading joy. World Smile Day (WSD®) is celebrated on the first Friday of October every year. So naturally, it’s a great fit to partner with WSD, Friday, October 4, 2019, to promote the many benefits of a simple smile and how this increases others happiness as well as promotes our own health, happiness and wellbeing.
“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
-- Joseph Addison
Why Smile…What Are The Benefits?
I remember from my childhood, my Mother always saying, “Just put a smile on your face and everything will be OK.” It seemed simple at the time but always did make me feel better. Smiling and laughing are proven to boost well-being, but often as we make the transition from childhood to adulthood, we forget to smile as much as we used to.
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”– Mother Teresa
The Top 5 Proven Benefits of Smiling
Smiling Makes Us More Attractive. Studies have shown people who smile are viewed by others as more attractive, reliable, relaxed, and sincere. Seeing a smiling face activates the orbitofrontal cortex, the region of your brain that process sensory rewards. This suggests that your brain feels rewarded when you see a smile. Conversely, more severe or negative facial expressions actually push people away.
Smiling reduces stress. Previous studies have shown that positive emotions can help during times of stress and that smiling can affect emotion. In a study forthcoming in Psychological Science, psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas investigate the potential benefits of smiling to recover from episodes of stress. Their findings showed that smiling during brief stressors can help to reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.
Smiling elevates your mood. When we smile, the movements of our muscles send signals to our brain activating neural messaging. A simple smile can trigger the release of neural communication boosting neuropeptides as well as mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Think of smiling like a natural anti-depressant.
Smiling is contagious. When has someone smiled at you and you did not return the smile? Smiling not only has the power to elevate your mood, but it can also change the moods of others and make things happier. According to Adrienne Wood, a social psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, “When we observe a facial expression of emotion, we often mimic it. Emotions are patterns of expressive, behavioral, physiological, and subjective feeling responses.” The part of your brain that is responsible for controlling the facial expression of smiling is an unconscious automatic response area. Meaning that smiling can be completely unconscious when we are mimicking that emotion of another.
Smiling boosts your immune system. Smiling really can improve your physical health, too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system. The act of smiling boosts your immune system because you’re more relaxed, with less cortisol and more happy neurochemicals. One study even found that smiling helps your body produce white blood cells to fight illness.
How Can You Participate In Celebrating World Smile Day® on Friday, October 4?
Wear your smile. As we previously established, smiles are contagious and it is very hard not to smile back at someone who is beaming their pearly whites right at you. So put on a big smile and watch how it comes right back to you…making your day and someone else’s even brighter...thus having a positive impact on the world at large.
Post your photo on social media. Spread the good cheer by posting your photo on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) and tagging @JOYVIAL. This way, you can lend a hand in spreading the word and most of all your smile.
Send a positive note, card or text to a friend or family member. Sometimes just showing you care by sending an encouraging or uplifting note can make all the difference in someone’s day and put a smile on their face. Let that be the reason someone smiles today.
Our team at JOYVIAL is dedicated to making you SMILE as we help you feel physically vibrant, focused, joyful, and energized to live your best life. Please reach out to our health coaching team (1-866-JOYVIAL) for assistance with creating balance, health and wellness in your life. We have a strong and vibrant community and would love for you to be part of it.
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