Smiles everyone! Smiles!

 

I once read that if you smile during exercise it will help improve your workout and reduce stress. Apparently the philosophy is that by forcing ourselves to smile we are tricking our body into believing that everything is good and thereby reducing stress. It’s already known that laughter increases levels of endorphins in the brain- which kill pain and improve mood. But I’ve heard even further research proved that smiling during exercise helps changes in blood pressure and appetite hormones.

I thought that this philosophy was psychosomatic at best and whimsical /slash/ nerdy at worst. Until I tried it.

During a recent spin class I was starting to tune out and lose momentum from the boredom of the music and monotony of the instruction when I decided to smile and literally ” grin and bear it”. Well I was pleasantly surprised! At first I simply could not get beyond lifting the corners of ny mouth into a mocking half grin with lips closed. Then slowly I relaxed my mouth enough to show some teeth. It felt kind of goofy almost as though I was mocking the spin instructor. But after a few minutes I started giggling to myself as though I had a secret no one else knew. Before I knew it I was genuinely smiling and soon it turned into a full blown chesire cat humongous self laugh! I felt great! And the bonus best part was that the class zipped by and I was in a great mood! (Sure, people were staring at me but that never bothers me- afterall- it IS funny!)

Psychosomatic? Perhaps. Effective? Absolutely!
Sometimes in order for us to keep our mental state clear and productive its important to force ourselves to think positively and then act positively.

The power of positive persuasion has long been proven to be extremely effective, but the power of self love or self laughing for that matter is extremely infectious.

Try it. You may just find that someone smiles back.

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