Need a free and effortless mood lifter?
What if there was one simple thing that you could do repeatedly, that would life your mood and the mood of everyone around you, teachers and kids alike? And what if that one thing was so simple it took no extra energy or effort? What if it was free and required no extra equipment? Too good to be true? What is it???? A simple but genuine smile.
How does it work? Your face has 44 muscles in it that allow you make more than 5,000 different types of expressions, many of which are smiles. Smiling triggers activity in your left frontal cortex which is the area of your brain that registers happiness and your brain takes it from there, connecting you smiling to an actual feeling of happiness. Try it right now and see if it works. Smile and see if you don’t feel a little happiness bomb going off.
Here are 5 Reasons to Smile
- Smiling can lead to feel good endorphins.
There is a mind-body connection between a smile and the brain. The brain interprets smiling with being happy and when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. Of course the opposite is also true. When you frown, your brain translates that into a feeling of being unhappy. So one way to stay in control of your feelings… is to manage your expressions.
- Smiling is contagious
Just try it and see. Smile at the next person that you encounter and I bet you a dollar to a donut, they will smile back. It’s almost automatic. Studies show that something as simple as seeing a friend smile can activate the muscles in your face to make that same expression, without you even being aware that you are doing it. Crazy, right? It all has to do with our connection to others through mirror neurons.
- Smiling makes you more attractive.
Ever look at those old black and white photos where everyone looks so serious and miserable? Not a smile in sight. Compare that to a photo of someone smiling. Doesn’t everyone look better and happier? Who would you like to meet and spend time with? Obvious question I know.4. Smiling can help you de-stress.
The next time you’re stressed take a few deep breaths and then… smile! Smiling can help to reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. It’s hard to feel stressed when you are smiling because that smile signals to your brain that you’re feeling happy. Your brain will change it’s perception to remain congruent with what your body is telling it which will result in slower breathing and a slower heart rate. Good bye anxiety!
5. Smiling can help you feel more confident (even if you aren’t yet).
When someone sees you smile, they are more likely to think of you as likeable and confident. And that feedback signals the brain that because other people see you that way… that you must be likeable and confident. Yep! It has to do with our connection with others through mirror neurons. once again.
Think teaching this simple technique might be useful for the kids in your life? You betcha!