Hey there. As you may already know, our theme for today is "Well-Being Wednesday" and I wanted to give you something so ridiculously simple today, you wouldn't pass up trying it. And if you read the title of this post, I'm sure you already know what I'm going to suggest... JUST SMILE! It's really that simple. The power of a smile is so underestimated in today's world. Why is this? Is it because it's so much easier to be negative than positive for some odd reason? Have you noticed this too? You can ask someone how their day is and it seems like you either get good/okay (which would be the positive answer) or you get fine, lousy, hanging in there, ehhh and now mehhh (yeah that's a real response these days). These would be the negative responses, but have you noticed something?
Every time you get a negative response you usually get an explanation behind it as well, which usually starts off with, "wait till you hear this" or maybe you'll hear "you won't believe this...". Now, this is pretty common considering research suggests that 90% of our people's thoughts on a daily basis are negative in nature. When I found that out, I almost fell off my chair. However, have no fear because it's actually possible to reverse that pattern. How? Have you ever heard of muscle memory? Well, just in case you haven't - it's basically using repetition to develop a certain outcome. Usually the term is used in the weight lifting world, suggesting that just because you stopped working out so hard for a little while, doesn't mean all hope is lost. Once you get back into training like you used to, your muscle memory will kick in and help you get you back to where you used to be soon enough.
Well, the same concept applies with smiling and positive thinking. I was reading an article by Sarah Stevenson where she sited the book Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. She writes, "For starters, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. They facilitate messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, excited. The feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure." The best part it is, each time we do this, we tell our body and mind to be positive instead of negative. And the more we do it, the easier it gets. Moving us closer to positive and further from negative.
Therefore, even if we aren't really feeling super happy, we can "trick" our brain to release these awesome, feel good hormones and completely change our current state for the better... all with a single SMILE! And a really cool part of smiling, is that it's contagious. No, really it is. It's basically an unconscious response in the body to mimic some else's facial pattern. People do this all the time without realizing it. Have you ever had a sales person in the middle of their pitch and he or she is basically nodding their head "yes" while trying to get you to agree to the purchase? They are trying to trigger this unconscious response in the body to mimic their movement. Pretty cool huh? Now you'll be more prepared next time you shop for a car :)
So what did we learn so far? We learned the smiling increases your happiness, reduces stress, improves your overall state and is contagious. Can you imagine the chain of events that could (and would) happen if each of us started to smile a little more each day?? It would be AMAZING! You would be single handedly responsible for helping not just yourself, but someone else feel better, reduce stress, think positively and be happy. And you can do this for yourself at any time no matter where you are. You just have to remember to do it. You also have to WANT to be happy, right?? I'm sure you if you REALLY wanted to try and "override" this awesome gift, you could, but why would you want to? I'm not saying I'm never negative, but we CHOOSE how long we keep ourselves in that state. I've heard that if you keep yourself in a negative state for longer than 3-5 minutes, you are choosing to stay there (of course I would put some exclusions in there, such as the loss of a loved one or friend, etc). The bottom line is, we have so much to be thankful for every single day of our lives that why would you want to waste a moment of it being negative. I better stop there because I might give away next week's Well-Being Wednesday concept ;)
I hope this helps and I would love to hear how it works for you! Reach out and connect with me on Facebook here: Jim Burdumy - I would love to connect with you. You can also find out more about me and my services here: Elite Core Fitness.
Stay Fit and Functional,