Focusing on our health and wellness is vital for a long and happy life and if we want to do it well, then we need to be prepared to spend money from time to time. That may be for a gym membership, active wear, health and detox coaching, visiting a colon hydrotherapy centre, taking holidays where you can totally unwind or seeing a holistic health practitioner.
But there is also one thing that you can do that will boost your health, improve your mood, brighten your day (and possibly someone else’s) and even help you succeed AND it is totally FREE.
Yes, as simple as it sounds, it’s true!
Smiling is so much more than just letting the world know you are feeling happy, it is also all about helping your mind and body.
Here’s just a few benefits of smiling to remind us!
Release endorphins and lower heart rate
Endorphins are chemicals that are released by your brain when it senses you are moving your face muscles and smiling. Even if you fake a smile or laughter it works just as well because the brain reacts to the muscles.
Of course you can accentuate the “fake” smile by thinking of happy memories or moments.
While you are smiling the heart rate also slows down and the body can relax. Blood pressure also reduces while we are smiling and laughing. Less stress, less pain and less cortisol!
Our mood and productivity increases
You’ve released endorphins as mentioned above and you feel lighter and brighter. Motivation kicks in and emotions are released. This brings about a change in mood and a sense of wellbeing. We can accomplish so much more when we are feeling happier. The other great bonus is that if you are busy smiling at people, at least half of them will smile back. This means you get another round of “feel good” emotions. Smiling and laughter have also both been known to decrease pain naturally. Many children’s hospitals include “Clown Doctors” or superheroes in costume to come and laugh with the kids and lessen their pain.
Trust, empathy and winning at life
Studies have shown that when people smile genuinely that we trust them more and we are drawn to them. A smile is attractive and makes people more approachable. Tension or anxiety can be eased when someone offers a smile, and it can be a wonderful ice breaker if you are nervous or embarrassed. The empathy of another person who is smiling with you feels amazing. Meetings, job interviews, presentations – all of these situations will ease if you bring a smiling, relaxed persona with you!
Live longer, look younger
A natural smile can help you appear younger and because of the reduction in stress, you will stay healthier and live longer. Couple this with some meditation and plenty of rest and good clean water to drink, and your skin will reap the benefits. Your immune system will benefit from smiles and laughter and your confidence and assurance will grow.
Not sure where to start?
Find a funny book, tv show or movie. Get yourself laughing out loud. Smile regularly, laugh loudly. Surround yourself with family and friends who make you feel happy. Be amongst positive people. Look for things to smile and laugh about. Stay away from depressing tv news or images that upset you. Look for ways to evoke a smile, enjoy light-hearted things instead.
If there is a Laughter Yoga practitioner near you, book in for a session and see how much you enjoy it.