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Spontaneous Overflow Reflecting in Tranquility

The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

Try a Smile

Feeling good is a practice that involves noticing and taking advantage of those small things that add up to a wonderful feeling of well being, peace, and joy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to feel perfectly calm and quiet all of the time? The steps to feeling more peaceful and joyful rather than worried and anxious are small. And with each step we invite more peace into our lives. It's the small step that begins the journey whether it is choosing a glass of water over a diet drink, walking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or taking a moment to notice your breath, it all slowly adds up. So let’s start with a smile. We underestimate the impact of a smile on our own well being and on the well being of those around us. Believe it or not there is a lot of research on the impact of just a smile. I hope this will convince you to smile more.

Here are the first five reasons we all should smile more and more:

1. Lowers Heart Rate – Smiling slows the heart and relaxes the body. This lets the heart work without overworking. People who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Smiling reduces blood pressure temporarily too.

2. Reduces Stress – Stress is a common problem in the modern world that causes myriad health problems. Stress relief may be as simple as smiling a little more throughout the day. Smiling releases endorphins that counteract and diminish the stress hormones.

3. Betters Mood – The endorphins do more than kick stress to the curb. Endorphins lift your mood. Feeling down? Slap a smile on your face, even if it isn’t entirely genuine at first, and turn your entire day around with something simple, easy to do, and free.

4. Increases Productivity – Smiling has been shown to increase productivity while performing tasks.This also explains why silly internet memes and pictures of cute animals can actually get people motivated and working harder after a few moments of smiling or laughter.

5. Encourages Trust – Studies show that we are more trustful of others when they smile and smile genuinely. Trust is an important part of social health when dealing with people, whether they be loved ones or just acquaintances. Seems relationships are truly built on smiles.

OK. Right now - crack a little smile to yourself.

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