When we’re feeling good and we’re happy and contented, we produce endorphins, those happy hormones. Those signals from the brain, activate our smile muscles.
This then, sends the “I’m happy” signal back to the brain …reinforcing those happy feelings and producing even more endorphins, in a positive feedback loop.
Which makes us feel even better!
Faking out your Brain
It’s been shown that smiling, even a super cheesy fake smile, signals to the brain that we’re happy and safe, which activates the calmer side of our nervous system.
This helps to reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure, heart rate, improves mood and positivity and has been likened to creating a happiness level in our brain equal to having 2,000 bars of chocolate. Pretty amazing hey?
Interestingly, the research seems to show that you get an even bigger boost in your mood if you smile at yourself in the mirror.
Activating that calmer side of our nervous system by smiling also reduces the stress signals sent to inflamed skin, helping your skin calm down as well.
Tips to help you Smile more often
Like any good habit, smiling is easy to do…and it only works when we remember to do it!
We can set up our environment to prompt ourselves to smile more.
1. Smiley Sticky Notes
To help me remember to smile more often, I have little sticky notes, just like this stuck around the house. Whenever I catch them out of the corner of my eye, I smile as I continue doing whatever I was doing.
It totally works, I feel instantly better, especially if I combine the smile with a happy dance.
Nothing gets me smiling quicker than catching a glimpse of one of my goofy happy dances in the mirror!
2. Surround Yourself with Smiley People
The best thing is smiles are contagious!
They’re a beautiful, social act that connects us with other people in the shared experience.
So hang out with happy, smiley people!
Especially kids, they smile on average 400x a day vs 40 times for a happy person and 20x for the average person.
3. Make it a habit to take time out for levity
You can also watch funny YouTube videos, especially the cat ones. Go to live comedy shows and festivals. Find old comedy series like Fawlty Towers and Blackadder or movies and make the time to sit down for a laugh.
And of course, catch up with your loved ones, your friends and family for lots of smiles.