Saturday, May 4, 2013

The One Thing You Can Do to Decrease Stress and Improve Your Life

Smile 2
Smile 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are there people in your life who always seem in a bad mood?  Maybe it's a co-worker.  Maybe it's someone in your family.  Maybe it's YOU?  What if I could tell you a simple, one-step, one-action cure for this problem?  What if I could tell you something that you could do that is such a basic biological action that even babies in the womb do it?  What if I told you that simply by doing this you could significantly increase your life span, improve your mood and relieve stress while appearing more likable, courteous and competent? Even better, what if I told you you wouldn't have to change your diet or increase your activity level?  Oh yes, and it's completely free!

You'd think I was kidding right?  Watch Ron Gutman giving his TED talk in the video below.

While some of the research he reports seems amazing, even unlikely, I bet if you really think about it you know that a smile can make a significant difference in a person's interactions with others.  I see it everyday in my work.  Teachers who smile at students first thing in the morning as they come into the classroom and through out the day as they teach not only have improved interactions with the students in their classrooms but are also perceived as better teachers by parents and peers.  Gutman reports research that validates this;  people who smile appear to be more likable, courteous and competent. In addition, smiling is contagious, so simply by smiling you can improve the mood of everyone you come in contact with.

Children are naturals at smiling.  Gutman reports that many children smile more than 400 times a day!  No wonder just being around a young child can lift our spirits and give us a new attitude.  

Smiling arouses emotions in our brain. We feel better when we smile because the act stimulates the brain reward mechanism.  According to Gutman, one smile creates the same positive brain stimulation as eating 2,000 bars of chocolate or as receiving $25,000 in cash!  We can feel rich everyday with very little effort and no additional calories!  Smiling increases mood enhancing hormones such as endorphin in our brain, relieves stress and can reduce blood pressure.

What amazing power we all have with such a simple activity!  Are you using this ability to your advantage?  If you tallied how many times you smiled today what would you discover?  

Like this post?  Share with friends on facebook and twitter to give them a smile!
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  1. I smile a tremendous amount, so this is fantastic news, Lynne. :) I will share your post!
    Love and blessings,

  2. " We can feel rich everyday with very little effort and no additional calories! " That alone is such a great line, Lynne! It's amazing what something as simple as a smile can do!