Life is a balancing act. Equal parts light and dark, equal parts good and not-so-good. Some mornings you wake feeling on top of the world – life feels like it has so many possibilities! Others, you find it hard to even get out of bed. When life starts to become overwhelming or you get some bad news, what is one of the best things you can do to lighten your mood? Smile. It may seem simple and mundane but smiling is more powerful than we know. Smiling has been scientifically proven to boost mood and immunity. In fact, it is shown that employers that grin more are more likely to be promoted.
What happens to our brain when we smile?
When we experience a positive situation, neuronal signs travel from the cortex of your brain to the brainstem. From there, the cranial muscle carries further signals to the smiling muscles in your face. Once the smiling muscles in our face contract, there is a positive feedback loop that now goes back to the brain and reinforces our feelings of joy. It is even said that smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate cannot match. The brain is so advanced that it can detect whether our smile is genuine or fake.
Acknowledge the darker times and ask yourself what is it that makes me smile? Make a list of all the things or activities that make you smile and have it on hand when you feel you need a boost. Make sure that whatever it is you are doing makes you genuinely smile! Our brain knows!