5 Benefits of Your Brain on Smile

by Tracy Lamperti

Her warm, sweet smile makes everyone around her smile too!

Her warm, sweet smile makes everyone around her smile too!

Whether you want to be happier, more productive, get more customers, cope with chronic illness or pain, give more smiling a chance!  The studies noted below included people with mood disorders, neurological disorders, stress, pain and others.  Since smiling is contagious, we must fill our house with smiling to create an environment where children thrive in skill and confidence!  We must smile at our husband and wife to bring about a more harmonious marriage!  When we feel like we may blow our top, it might be best to step away, smile for a few cycles of 5 seconds and then return to the dilemma.  A great way to force a smile, because the studies below demonstrate that even if the smile is fake it has a positive result on our brain/mood, is to hold a pencil in your teeth.  (http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/1528-3542.2.1.52)

  1.  Smiling repetitively helps to interrupt mood disorders and strengthen the brain’s neural ability to maintain a positive outlook on life.  Buddhism incorporates smiling into their meditations and Thich Nhat Hanh worte, “If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace.”
  2. Smiles are neurologically contagious in every culture, and women and more susceptible than men.
  3. Smiling stimulates brain circuits that enhance social interactions, empathy, and mood.
  4. If you see a picture of a smiling face, you will involuntarily feel happier and more secure.
  5. Listening to “happy” music can stimulate a smile response and improve your mood, especially when you are dealing with a chronic serious disease.

 

References:

  1.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15788264
  2. (Hanh T. Being Peace. Parallax Press, 1987)
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17537073/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=a+common+neural+basis+for+receptive+and+expressive+communication+of+pleasant+facial+affect
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=what%27s+in+a+smile%2C+intra-operative+observations+of+contralateral+smiles+induced+by+deep+brain+stimulation
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17516821
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=a+functional+mri+study+of+happy+and+sad+affective+states+induced+by+classical+music
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16538499
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