Your Challenge Today:
Smile through my heart …
Let my soul smile through my heart
and my heart smile through my eyes,
that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.
The Duchenne is defined by the smile which utilizes the muscles around the eyes that lift the cheeks to produce crow’s feet and has long been held as an inimitable sign of true human emotion. According to recent studies, smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep. Smiling changes your brain, helps you recovery from stress and generates more positive emotions within you. Smiling self medicates and heals, it has positive hormonal and physiological consequences which make us feel better and want to smile more!
The positive effects of smiling are shown to be more rapid with Duchenne smiling compared with regular smiling or not smiling at all. So, putting on a Duchenne smile, lifting your cheeks an including your eyes may be just the tonic to combat stress. Your brain keeps track of your smiles, it knows how often you’ve smiled and which overall emotional state you are in. That’s why we often feel happier around children – they smile more. On average, children smile around 400 times a day. Whilst happy people still smile 40-50 times a day, the average is only 20 times a day ~ and we would do well for ourself to practice smiling more!
- Smiling leads to decrease in the stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your health
- Smiling breeds trust, makes you happier and helps you to live longer
- Genuine laughter increases breathing, while lowering blood pressure and heart rate
- And most importantly, smiling can be learnt. Or to put more precisely, re-learnt
Sadly, most of us have forgotten how to smile genuinely over time. We have adopted social smiles more and more which are less natural and don’t carry the same physiological benefits as a genuine smile. Smiling is the outward manifestation of happiness and serves to connect us to others. We are all “prewired” to connect with others via this system of smiling. Thus it has been shown that people who cannot smile, because of facial paralysis, have more difficulty in social relationships. On average, women smile more than men. And sharing a smile with someone else helps them to feel happier too!