What is the easiest and simplest way to change your mood?
Smile. Yes, the simple act of smiling can help to rewire your brain and change how you feel. When you smile, it activates muscle movements in your face, a signal then gets sent to your brain to release endorphins. This is how smiling can make you feel better even when you are not feeling so great.
The best part is that even a fake smile can do the same thing. The brain does not know if you are truly smiling or fake smiling. It is reacting to your muscle movements in your mouth, cheeks and eyes. This means a grin or tiny smile won’t do the same thing – if you are faking a smile make it a big one!
Endorphins are hormones, chemical messengers that make you feel good, your happiness boosters. The body produces them to help reduce pain and stress which is why they are often referred to as our natural painkillers. Serotonin is also released during smiling and works to lift our mood. And serotonin is a needed to make melatonin that helps with sleep.
And let’s face it, smiling makes you feel better. In doing so it can relieve the effects of stress to help lower blood pressure and support the immune system by getting you to relax.
Laughter really is the best medicine. It is contagious and can even transform the people around you. Try frowning when everyone around you is laughing or smiling. It takes a lot of energy to control our facial muscles when we try not to smile. Just watch those old TV comedies, like the Carol Burnett show where they often cracked up doing a sketch. Which in turn makes us laugh even more.
As you read this, try experimenting. Smile right now! Make it a really, really big smile! Can you sense how your whole body feels lifted. I get a bit euphoric. Now frown. Somehow your body starts to feel like it is turning downward. Can you feel the difference in your body and in your brain? Now smile again because that is a better state to be in.
We sure do need more to smile about these days. So find the things that make you smile or really laugh or just fake it because you want more endorphins and serotonin. It can actually improve your mood, make you feel better and can even help to promote sleep.
And as Mother Teresa said “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”.
From the heart,
Heart to Heart Nutrition offers nutritional consulting, a 12 week online sleep coaching program, health breakthrough coaching where deep-rooted behaviours impede the journey back to self-care, self-love and self-worth. Other services include hypnotherapy and reiki.