Your SMILE can be a SMART choice!
Most of us have a basic awareness that our thoughts have an impact on our behavior and that our behavior will dictate the type of life that we will live. But did you know that certain basic behaviors can make the difference between having a good day or a miserable one? On a more foundational level, when we hit rock bottom (which we all have, or will), it our choices that will get us by moment to moment. Commit yourself to making smart choices. The choice can be something as simple as smiling. Smiling can have a beneficial effect on general health and well-being. Why not choose to smile? We spend a great deal of time in thought choosing which outfit to wear for the day; should you wear the jeans or the suit, the red bottoms or the sneakers? Whatever you
choose, don’t forget the final accessory to your outfit… YOUR SMILE. Otherwise your ensemble is incomplete; it’s like leaving home naked.
There are many health benefits of smiling:
• Smiling generates endorphins: Endorphins are the brain’s ‘happy’ hormones, or natural stress busters. The more endorphins we have, the happier we feel. The brain reads muscle movement of your face and causes the release of these brain chemicals. Whether your smile gleeful or forced… it doesn’t matter. The good news is that the brain doesn’t distinguish if the smile is fake or genuine. So go on…flash your pearly whites!
• Smiling decreases release of cortisol, the body’s natural stress hormone. Cortisol comes from the adrenal glands, which are two small organs located at the top of your kidneys. Cortisol prepares the body for a fight-or flight response by increasing blood sugar levels and inhibiting release of insulin. Without getting too complicated, just know that high a cortisol level is not good unless you are in the woods confronted by a grizzly!
• Smiles are a part of our universal language; seen all over the globe, from the remote areas of a rainforest to city dwellers in London. It is a universally accepted form of body language. Smiling will likely draw others to you and contribute to positive interactions. Smiles are also contagious and will help to bring a sense of well being to your life. So hit the streets with your personal, “I am Woman,” (or I am Man!) theme song playing in your head… people will notice.
So it seems that you’ve got nothing to lose by smiling. Make a decision to smile each day. It may not be obvious, but find something to smile about. Spend time with people who smile and laugh. Find a comedy or funny show to watch or listen to. The choice is yours… Just don’t leave home naked. Nobody wants to see all that! What???… I said it with a SMILE.
Dr. Shane Dodd
Model Shown: IG: @dena.dodd, my baby sister!