The Power of a Smile: How a Smile Can Change Your Mental Health, Relationships, and Beauty
Smiling is not only a way of being polite but also a powerful tool to change your mood, and outlook on life, and improve your relationships.
Did you know that it takes 62 muscles to frown and only 26 to smile?
That means that it takes more energy to show a sad face than a happy one. It is easier to give in to negative moods and throw destructive words, but the reality is that this attitude leads to regret, pain, sadness, and broken relationships. A sad face drains energy, while a smile radiates positive energy and joy that communicates with others.
According to scientist Andrew Newberg, a smile is a symbol rated with the highest positive emotional content. Smiling stimulates our brain's reward mechanisms in a way that chocolate cannot match. Smiling changes our mood, our outlook, and the course of our lives. Biologically speaking, our moods and feelings change when we smile. When others see us smiling, they also experience positive changes.
Let me illustrate this with a personal story.
Several years ago, I went through a really dark season of depression and anxiety. I had no more room to shove down and suppress one more emotional wound or trauma. I was maxed out with stress. It turns out my body wanted to advocate for me in a way that said,
You have to deal with this, Dawn. You must slow down, look at your trauma, and deal with it.
One morning I just woke up with intense anxiety. At the time, I didn't know what it was. I didn't have a name for it. I just knew something wasn't right. Something was really, really different for me. It felt like my heart was racing, or like I had just heard some terrible news, but nothing was wrong. I often described how it felt; like a deer caught in headlights! I was startled, paralyzed, frozen.
I had no idea what to do as anxiety went on through the whole day. In fact, it went on
through the next few days. I couldn't sleep; I immediately went into what doctors call, “medical anorexia,” loss of appetite induced by trauma and anxiety. I quickly became frail and completely weak.
I didn't know it then, but I was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It turns out this would be the beginning of 156 more days just like it. Soon anxiety turned into depression, which I discovered is the same chemical imbalance, just the opposite ends.
I was depressed and overwhelmed with sorrow. Everything became hard. The life I loved was gone. And I felt hopeless.
Then one day, I got a hold of this principle; that smiling would release chemicals and tell my brain that I was happy. I heard I could biologically outsmart depression by smiling.
So, every day for about 20 minutes, I would sit on the end of the bed and I would just
smile. I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled.
I remember my then-husband would come home, and say, “You're smiling! Do you feel better?”
“No, not yet, but I'm letting my body know I'm happy!”
What was I doing? I was using science to reverse what was going on in my body. I developed the habit of smiling and I’ve proven it works!
Smiling didn’t completely reverse that experience with depression. I needed medication and inner-healing therapy. BUT my point is that I leveraged the principle and worked with God-given nature and modern science to bring a positive outcome.
Smiling is a God-given design in our DNA, and it’s a powerful tool to change our mood, outlook, and the course of our lives.
Smiling goes a long way to improving our overall health, mental health, relationships, and beauty. So, go ahead, turn that frown upside down, and let your smile radiate positive energy and joy.
For more on the Power of a Smile, check out 👉👉👉 WHY SMILING IS BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE.
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