The Magic of a Smile!
We’ve been breaking down the Breadcrumbs Superpower Breathing Practice:
“I place my hands on my heart,
And a smile on my face..."
Today, we’re focusing on that all important smile. Scientists and spiritual teachers alike agree that smiling can transform you and the world around you. 1
Consciously smiling offers a host of physiological and emotional benefits. In your brain, smiling stimulates your happiness circuitry and activates the release of “feel-good neurotransmitters” - dopamine, endorphins and serotonin- all of which help to relax your body, lower heart-rate and blood pressure and relieve stress.2
In addition, your smile is a gift to those around you! Studies have shown that seeing another smile activates the orbitofrontal cortex in the brain, making you feel as if you have been rewarded… not just “a pat on the back” rewarded... One study, conducted in the UK (using an electromagnetic brain scan machine and heart rate monitor) found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 chocolate bars! 3
And, your smile is contagious! Studies show that it takes a conscious effort on the part of one perceiving a smile, not to smile back in return.4 Even if you aren’t able to turn another’s frown upside down, those who perceive your smile receive most of the emotional and physiological benefits you enjoy.
Smiles come easily to young children. It is estimated that children smile as many as 4oo times a day!5 Maria Montessori saw young children as our teachers… perhaps, with the gift of their smiles, they are our healers too!
Ronald E. Riggio, PhD, w/ guest blogger Sarah Stevenson. June 26, 2012. “There’s Magic in Your Smile. How Smiling affects your brain. www.psychologytoday.com.
Eric Savitz, guest post written by Ron Guttman, March 22, 2011. “The Untapped Power of Smiling”. www.forbes.com.
Ibid. Psychology Today.