I am sat here at my computer debating whether to write a newsletter. It’s been a while since I wrote one. I decided to have the summer off from social media and newsletters etc, like most people I needed some downtime. However, my summer seems to have elongated itself into October!
I love writing, I love putting my thoughts to paper, the reading up about an idea so I might broaden my knowledge, and the sharing of information. Right now, it’s a challenge to think of what to write that doesn’t sound trite with all that’s going on in the world just now. Finding the balance between keeping up with the news and not letting it drag you into a state of despair is tricky, and definitely an ongoing challenge.
On one of my recent dog walks I realised that I was walking with a frown. Deep thoughts and concentration were showing on my face through the ever-deepening frown line I have nicely developed on my forehead over years. When I caught myself I forced a smile. Not a mad looking smile I might add, but just enough of one to lift the energy through my eyes and let the frown line have a break for a moment or two. I experimented with not smiling and then smiling and really felt a difference in my energy. My face felt lighter, my eyes weren’t heavy, and my energy definitely lifted.
This was something that needed some investigation!
So here’s what I have found out, and one of the reasons I love writing! I would like to share with you that smiling is good for you! Smiling activates tiny molecules in your brain that are designed to fend off stress. These molecules, called neuropeptides, facilitate communication between neurons in your brain, I like to think of these as Happy Neurons! And, when you smile, your brain releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. So it’s all good! And here’s the thing, even a smile that you have ‘put on’ can trick the brain into feeling happier. When you smile you trigger certain facial muscles that send messages to the brain that you are smiling. It doesn’t know that your smile wasn’t triggered by something that you saw or felt to make that smile happen. So it’s true, smiling really is good for us!
Here’s a word of caution though. Just a gentle smile is enough. Grimacing through a smile when you are really feeling like crap isn’t going to be helpful. Just enough to feel that shift in the weight behind your eyes is good. And make sure that you are acknowledging that your feeling rubbish, or life is a bit low, as you work towards making that shift to allow space to do the work that’s needed.
Imagine adding flower essences of Joy too! (Sorry I do have to mention essences, I am an essences producer!) A few drops of Joy and a gentle smile to oneself and then feel the energy shift.
And of course, smiling is contagious. A smile to someone as you walk by them usually results in them smiling back, and they then hopefully smile to the next person. So, let’s start a chain of smiles and love in this ever crazy world and let our Happy Neurons come out to play to help us all.
” Peace begins with a smile.” — Mother Teresa.