“Being happy is a talent that develops through exercise. “ ~ Peyo Yavorov
Multitude of studies have shown that the simple act of smiling will enhance your mood and you’ll start feeling better. Have you noticed that when you’re feeling down or discouraged, this is immediately reflected on your posture, the position of your spine and shoulders, as well as the mimics of your face. The amazing thing is that the mind-body connection could work both ways. So guess what, next time you’re feeling out of your element, you could assume the body position and facial expression that is associate with you feeling happy and content and your body will follow suit. The ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ is actually real and you could ‘act as if’ to trick your body into believing that you’re happy, which in turn will send happy signals to our brain and your mood will improve. The body posture not only reflects how you feel but also contributes to how you feel.
Simply activating a smile contributes to a positive neurological reaction. In other words, when your facial muscles say you’re happy, your body sends happy signals to your brain and you’re more likely to view your job and teammates in a more positive light, for example.
Remember the exercise we did with you a while back, about doing mundane tasks with enthusiasm and optimistic view?! Well, now, it’s time for another one – we challenge you to put your most charming smile on and keep it on for a whole day, then for two, then for three, then rarely go out without it. Even if you have to fake it at the beginning, convince yourself that facing the world is a piece of cake, act as if it’s true, then notice how much better you feel and how productive you are. Rest assured this simple trick will do wonders for the quality of your days ahead.
Moreover, not only smiling but laughter has positive effects on our bodies and minds. We’ve all heard the saying that “Laughter is the best medicine” and a lot of scientific discoveries say it really is. According to medical research, laughter supplies the lungs with oxygen, reduces muscle tension and improves heart function. Moreover, laughter lowers blood sugar, helps fight excess weight and lowers cortisol, reducing stress levels.
Here are some fun facts you didn’t know about laughter:
- People laugh 30 times more often when they are in a group than alone.
- Women laugh more often than men. Adults laugh about 15 – 30 times a day and babies laugh 300 times per day.
- Scientists recommend laughter to people suffering from diabetes as a method of reducing blood sugar.
- Laugher is beneficial for the cardio vascular system as it expands the blood vessels and improves and balances blood circulation. 20 seconds of laughter prolong your heart’s live with 3 minutes.
- Laughter improves the immune system as it releases a hormone which boosts your immune system and helps you fight germs.
- When we laugh they are some 80 different mussel groups that get engaged. It speeds up your breathing too and it is like exercising. Laughing for 10 – 15 minutes burns about 50 calories.
- Laughter fights stress. Your brain releases endorphins when you laugh, which makes you feel happy.
The same principle (‘fake it ‘til you make it’) as above applies – simple laughter exercises could improve your mood, breading and blood circulation. It might feel awkward at first, laughing for no apparent reason, but there actually is a reason – to feel better, emotionally and physically.
There is actually a new scientific discipline "Gelotology" (from Greek Gelos - Laughter) that emerged largely thanks to the extended studies of the american neurologist William Fry which proove the benefits of laughter on the endocrine, cardiovascular, neuro and cognitive systems.
So give it a go…Laugh for health, laugh for healing, laugh for happiness!