Children do this an average of 400 times per day. The average happy adult does it 40-50 times per day and the typical adult only 20 times per day.  Its value is immense, but nobody is so poor that he cannot share it or so rich that he does not need it. What am I talking about?  A smile. 

A smile has a powerful, feel-good influence.  Need cheering up?  All I need to do is think about the first time my children or grandchildren smiled or look at one of their smiling faces in a picture.  It is an immediate boost.  But, what is it about a smile that invokes such a positive response?  

According to speech therapists Mirtha Manno and Rubén Delauro, who manage a self-help clinic called Smiling and Health, the mere gesture of smiling produces an electrical stimulus that affects the pituitary gland. This gland, in turn, releases endorphins, chemical substances in the brain that make us feel good and act as a mild pain reliever.  When you smile, your brain also releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress and other neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin .... your feel-good hormones. 

Powerful Effects of Smiling Every Day
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Increased endurance
  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced stress
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Appear more likeable, courteous and competent
  • More productive at work and make more money
Never underestimate the power of a smile.....
One woman was sent with other family members to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany for refusing to adopt Nazi ideology. “At times the guards stopped us from speaking with other prisoners,” she recalled. “But they had no control over our facial expressions. Just seeing my mother and sister smile boosted my morale and strengthened my resolve to endure.”

Smiling is contagious and is a "superpower".  However, unlike the power to fly or become invisible, this superpower can be learned, practiced and improved upon. A smile uses almost half of the 30 facial muscles. These muscles need to be trained just like any other muscle. Want to increase your daily smile average to reap more benefits?  

Try A Smile Challenge
  1. Post-It-Note Challenge – Gather 10-20 colorful post-it notes and write down people, places or things that make you smile. Stick the post-it-notes someplace you’ll see every morning to start your day.
  2. Social Media Smile Collage – Create a smile collage and post it on social media – include your favorite smile, a picture smiling with friends and a picture of an activity or place that makes you smile.
  3. Waiting Challenge – Catch yourself in a moment where you are waiting – whether it’s in traffic or at the grocery store. Stop and smile. See if others smile back.
  4. 19 Challenge – Did you know that scientist have calculated that there are 19 types of smiles? How many do you have? Take pictures of your different smile and capture those of friends, colleagues and family members.
There are times when additional help is needed to inspire positivity and maintain a happy mood.  Studies have shown citrus essential oils boost the mood as they contain high amounts of limonene.  Tangerine, grapefruit, lemon and lime are some of my absolute favorites. Joy™ .... the name says it all .... is an oil blend that contains the citrus oils of bergamot, lemon and tangerine, invites feelings of bliss and warmth when diffused and helps you nurture the people and connections that matter most for sustained, long-term happiness.  Grab yours here.  (Of course, if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, you should talk to your physician immediately to find the best treatment for you.) 

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