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The Smile Intervention

This isn’t the typical topic from Elevate, but listen up because this life hack can change how you handle adversity.

Everyone has a choice in how they respond to their environment. Our brain processes information and we make a decision about how we want to react. Have you experienced road rage? Have you ever experienced anger while driving? Now what is the difference? The difference is OUR response. We control if we want to fuel the anger or snuff it out. The more times we choose to act upon anger, rage, anxiety, or depression the more our bodies internal environment changes. What would happen if instead we used OUR choice to smile during those times of hardship? Keep reading to find out.

Science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and actually boost people out of clinical depression. It’s a pretty backwards idea, isn’t it? Happiness is what makes us smile; how can the reverse also be true? The fact is, as Dr. Isha Guptaa neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explains, a smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin (exercise has can produce a similar response!). “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and aggression,” says Dr. Gupta. “Low levels of dopamine are also associated with depression.”

But it doesn’t end there. Dr. Murray Grossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist in Los Angeles points to the science of psychoneuroimmunology (the study of how the brain is connected to the immune system), asserting that it has been shown “over and over again” that depression weakens your immune system, while happiness on the other hand has been shown to boost our body’s resistance. “What’s crazy is that just the physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity,” says Dr. Grossan. “When you smile, the brain sees the muscle [activity] and assumes that humor is happening.”

Watch the video on how to take action:

Today choose to SMILE,

Team Elevate