Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Did You Know Smiling Can Reduce Stress?

Did you know? Smiling reduces stress. Here's why + monthly stress challenge.

Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers that also counteract stress, and serotonin, a substance that makes you feel good.  Smiling may also increase immune function, extend your longevity, reduce your blood pressure, and increase focus and productivity.

When you smile on a daily basis you gradually retrain your brain to create happiness loops so you’ll naturally think more positively too.  And that will increase your resilience to stress as well.

Who can resist a smile? When you flash a genuine smile and use your eyes to connect with others, they’ll smile back at least half the time. The simple gift of your smile will invite them to enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of smiling too.  Your smile could make a profound difference in someone’s day.

Doesn’t smiling make you feel better as well?

Often we barely notice the person next to us because we’re lost in our inner world of thoughts and emotions.  But often that just brings more stress and worry.  Get out of your head and share a smile instead.  You’ll feel better when you do.

The world needs kindness now more than ever.  You can help, starting with your smile.

Monthly Stress Challenge

This month, whenever you see someone, use it as an opportunity to smile. Look at the person softly and smile in a relaxed way.  To receive the positive effects, make it a genuine smile that engages the muscles in the mouth, cheeks, and eyes.

You could even smile when you’re alone.  Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!

Do you make it a practice to smile everyday?  I would love to hear.

There’s a new stress challenge at the beginning of each month.

Thank you for being here.  If you enjoyed this stress tip, please share it with others, every share makes a big difference.  Thank you!  May you be well, happy, and safe – always. With love, Sandra

 

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17 Comments

  1. Happiness loops–I love that! And so true about smiling. It works even if we are not feeling it at the beginning. The perfect example of “fake it till you make it”!

    Smiling also makes you look better. Practice in the mirror to see the difference a smile makes. Instant face lift along with the spirit lift!

    Years ago I realized that my “resting” face had a slight scowl. Not the fact I wanted to present to the world. So I determined to reset my default expression to a smile. It has worked wonders.

    Great post–such a simple and easy stress reducer. It hardly qualifies as a “challenge.” Ha!

    • That’s amazing, Galen, that you consciously decided to reset your “resting” face to a smile. What an inspiration for all of us. I agree, smiling makes us look better too! Let’s all fake it till we make it!

  2. I think my natural expression is a smile, Sandra. And like Galen said, it is an instant face lift. Tony Robbins said your feelings are your physiology and it is so true! I did a cartoon once of two Jack-o-lanterns talking, one smiling and one with a frown face carved in. The smiling one said to the other, ” Frank, Tony Robbins says your physiology determines your feelings.” So we can lift our mood with just a few facial muscles :). But, alas, the poor Jack-o-lantern was stuck with his frown and his bad mood :).

    • What a great cartoon, Jean! A good reminder for all of us. I love that your natural expression is a smile. That sounds like you!!!!

  3. It’s so true Sandra. As a kid I always wondered why people smiled at me so often in the street until my Mum told me it was because I usually had a smile on my face and people responded.

    It’s still true today…being born a happy, clappy soul has been a real blessing in my life and science tells us that the psychological and physiological effect it has can be huge. Not that we need science to tell us that…but it’s good confirmation.

    • Isn’t it interesting that some people seem to have a natural inclination to happiness and smiling! I’m so happy for you, Elle. Your childhood experience demonstrates the power of smiling for all of us.

  4. Great reminder here Sandra. No matter what challenges you are facing, a smile can make you feel better. I do like smiling at strangers on the street and seeing who smiles back. It immediately makes you feel less of a stranger. Lovely article!

  5. Thanks for the important reminder on something so simple to do which really can make a difference. When I read this, I thought that the president-elect of the US needs to try this tactic. His seemingly permanent scowl can’t be helping his brain or mood at all.

  6. We often don’t realise what our resting face tells others about us. So important to keep an upturn to our mouths and smile spontaneously as our physiology plays a huge part in creating our mood. Thank you Sandra.

    • That’s a very interesting way to look at this as well, Allanah. Many people don’t take the time to consider how they are broadcasting to the world with their resting face and other gestures too.

  7. Sandra love this and why I put a smile card in my deck- I always smile and say hello to people each day and always amazed at how many people look down at that square foot of sand in front of themxx

  8. Some people seems to smile in every situation (not the joker in batman kind). They can find happiness even in the most adverse situation. It comes so naturally for these people. Personally, I find it a challenge to be happy. I guess I am just not cut out to be happy. But I’ll try! Great read by the way! You’re amazing!

    • I know what you mean, Jeremiah! We all have different dispositions and some people just seem like they are born smiling. But even if we are not big smilers naturally, I think it’s something we can develop with practice and it will bring ourselves and others a little more happiness. It’s not necessarily easy to be happy in this challenge world. I’m glad you will try and I’m definitely rooting for you.

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