There are a lot of songs about smiling. One inspiring version belongs to Louis Armstrong, with his simplistic concepts and scats. Many of his songs have a charming quality to them. Here are the words to the chorus:
When you’re smiling, When you’re smiling
The whole world smiles with you
When you’re laughing, When you’re laughing
The sun comes shining through
But when you’re crying you bring on the rain
So stop your sighing be happy again
Keep on smiling ’cause when you’re smiling
The whole world smiles with you
SMILE…yes…smiling is great for the health of your brain and to decrease anxiety and depression. DO THIS REGULARLY EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. Although a heart-felt smile has a deeper effect, a surface (or intentional) smile tricks the mind into releasing “happy” hormones to the brain.
The more we smile, the more we want to smile. Each time we do, we reinforce positive chemical reactions and our brain will desire more (in essence becoming addicted to smiling!).
How it works:
- Smiling stimulates brain circuits that enhance social interaction, empathy, and mood. Even seeing a picture of a smiling face will make you feel happier and more secure.
- Smiling simultaneously interrupts mood disorders like depression, anxiety disorders, worry, and fear.
- One can intentionally smile in the midst of everyday routine; driving a car, standing in a check-out line, riding in an elevator, or any spare moment in the day (particularly in stressful situations).
- Smiling stimulates brain circuits that enhance social interaction (smile and others smile), empathy, and mood elevation. Conversely, frowning stimulates feelings of fear, anger, distrust, dislike, and disgust (Remember the Downstairs Brain?).
SO GET OUT THERE AND SMILE!! You will find and bring joy to yourself and the world around you.
(Laughter has the same affect. Make yourself laugh to produce the “happy” hormones, too! Even if you feel bad, force yourself to laugh!)
ACTION FOR THE WEEK:
- One day this week, try to smile (and/or laugh) intentionally for 3 minutes at the beginning of each hour….Or…once every day (7 days), spend 3 minutes smiling.
- When you are stressed, angry, or worried, try to smile (SEE POINT #3). Focus on the process of trying to smile naturally. Try not to grit your teeth. Try to work your way to a more natural smile. Take note of your feelings after you experience the process of finding your natural smile.
Now starting smiling (and laughing). Oh…and here is Louis. Enjoy! When Your Smiling
Kathryn A. Walker is a pioneering medical researcher and psychiatrist known for her groundbreaking work in the field of mental health, particularly in the area of ketamine treatments. With a deep passion for understanding and alleviating the burden of treatment-resistant mood disorders, Kathryn has dedicated her career to investigating the therapeutic potential of ketamine.
Through her relentless efforts, she has played a pivotal role in shedding light on ketamine’s efficacy in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Her research has not only transformed the way we approach mental health care but has also provided hope to countless individuals who had previously found little relief from conventional treatments.
Kathryn A. Walker’s pioneering contributions continue to shape the landscape of mental health medicine and inspire new avenues of research in the pursuit of better mental well-being for all.