Have you ever been having a really bad day and had someone give all of his or her effort to make you smile? Did you know that their actions are not only trying to improve your your mood, but your health, too?
As adults, we tend to become stressed and overwhelmed with everything we have to manage (school, work, family, friends, hobbies, etc.) leading to us smiling less. Think back to your days as a child. Carefree, filled with joy, at peace… and smiling! Kids are our greatest example of what smiling can do for your mood and your health.
But, what all can smiling do?
Release Our Body’s Happy Drug
Have you ever heard of endorphins? They are our body’s natural happy chemical. When we smile, our brain releases endorphins into our blood stream and, in turn, we feel the emotion of happiness.
Even if you aren’t truly happy, faking a smile will still trigger your body to release endorphins making you feel happy. If you are having a bad day, force yourself to smile and see an improvement in your mood.
Those same happy chemicals (endorphins) help us to reduce stress. When endorphins are released into the body, the amount of our natural stress chemical (cortisol) is reduced leaving us feeling less stressed or anxious.
Stress can be extremely detrimental to our health. High levels of stress can lead to high blood pressure, headaches, difficulties sleeping, and more serious conditions like heart attacks & cancer.
Also, many people turn to harmful substances like alcohol or tobacco to help relieve the stress. Instead of turning to alcohol or cigarettes, challenge yourself to smile more. Find something that makes you happy and commit to doing it.
Draw People In
When was the last time you saw someone angry and pouty and you decided to approach them? Chances are, never! When you are smiling and happy, you have a more welcoming and inviting demeanor. People want to surround themselves with happy people.
If you can’t seem to find a reason to smile, try:
Finding a Hobby You Love
With all there is to manage, when was the last time you participated in your favorite hobby? Although setting aside some time may not seem possible, schedule 30 minutes of your day to dedicate to yourself and your health.
Surrounding Yourself with the People You Love
Ask a friend to grab a coffee. Ask a family member to go on an adventure with you. Our friends and family know us better than we know ourselves. Although you may not be your happiest you, the ones you love are there to help you through the good times and the bad
Similar to smiling, exercise releases endorphins, which in turn helps your mood. Exercising can reduce stress and any feelings of depression. Sign up for a class you’ve never tried, go for a run around your block, or try an at-home workout from online.
In the craziness of life, it can be hard to make some time for you and your priorities – the things that make you happy. Set aside some time each day to do something for yourself. You will thank yourself one day!
Have you smiled today?