When was the last time you laughed, I mean really laughed.? When was the last time you made a huge smile spreading across your face?
Life is too serious that sometimes we forget to enjoy the simplest of things, such as a smile or a giggle.
In my latest book, Release Your Obsession with Diet Chatter I wrote a section on smiles and laughter that I thought might be fun to share with you.
So, as you read put a big smile on your face and watch what happens:
Why not smile? Yep, just stop what you’re doing and smile. Do you feel the lift? Smiling has the ability to stimulate the endorphins in our brains. You don’t have to think about anything, just smile, and the change simply happens.
Smiling can trick your brain into happiness. Science has shown that the mere act of smiling reduces cortisol levels. When we smile, our brains release neuropeptides, a nerve protein that influences our brains, bodies, and behavior in many ways. Particularly, this negates stress and elevates our moods.
If that weren’t enough, when we flash happy smiles across our faces, we release “feel good” neurotransmitters, including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.
The neurotransmitter dopamine gives the brain energy and motivation—a rush that is necessary for a habit change.
At the same time, endorphins lessen our perception of pain, triggering a positive, euphoric feeling in the body very much the way morphine does.
And serotonin, a confidence booster, seeps into our very essence, changing our overall moods.
Give it your best and make it a toothy smile. We take life too seriously.
Richard Carlson writes in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff, “One of my favorite posters says: Life is a test. It is only a test. Had this been a real life you would have been instructed where to go and what to do.” He goes on to say, “Whenever I think of this humorous bit of wisdom, it reminds me to not take my life so seriously.”
My sister Mickey has the most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard. She loves to laugh. She laughs freely. She laughs often. And she laughs loud. I’m more subdued and quiet, but not when I’m with Mickey. I start laughing. Laughter is a great getaway from reality, from taking life so seriously.
Have you ever watched a young child having a laughing fit? He falls to the ground because he feels the laughter in the core of his being.
When was the last time you laughed? I mean really laughed. Laughter is one of the quickest ways to dull the inner chatter and escape to another place—a quick getaway right in your mind.
It’s known that laughter and smiles has medicinal benefits. Who knew something free and quite easy to do could lead to positive health.
Laughter is powerful and healing. Smiling is contagious. Try smiling at everyone you see today and I promise if they’re looking at you, they’ll smile back.
What are your thoughts on laughter? When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? How did it make you feel? Or, do you find it’s hard to laugh or smile due to life’s stressors? I’d love to hear from you, even if you don’t agree that laughter and smiles is medicinal and magical.
Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander.
Hugs to you…I care,
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.