Did you know that the very first thing you do as you awaken each morning can make the difference between having an amazing day or a bad day? So how would I define ‘an amazing day’? For me that would be a day in which your mood is light and cheerful, your energy is high, you are filled with a sense of well-being and contentedness, you feel really good in your own skin and are pumped and excited to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
Imagine having a switch that you can use immediately as you open your eyes in the morning that will guarantee that you have this kind of amazing day. Well, we do! Sometimes, though, we forget to use it. This switch is a smile. When we wake up and immediately smile – whether it is a forced smile or a real smile, we trigger the kind of chemicals that will result in us having an amazing day.
Smiling stimulates dopamine. This is like our natural cocaine. It provides feelings of joy, confidence and happiness. It gives us an overall sense of well-being. Dopamine also improves our energy, focus and alertness.
Smiling boosts serotonin. This is like our natural anti-depressant. It is our happy chemical that also regulates our appetite, improves our self-esteem and has many other important roles that add to living an amazing day.
Smiling may also increase the production of GABA. This is like our natural tranquilizer providing us with calm and relaxation.
Smiling stimulates the creation of endorphins. Endorphins relieve pain, heighten our self-esteem and gives us a feeling of great well-being.
You may think that putting a smile on your face sounds so simplistic but actually it sets off a chain of neurochemical events that will give you the energy, the desire and the willpower to eat the right foods, take the right supplements, engage with the right people, think the right thoughts and even exercise!
Most importantly – when you smile, you not only affect your own chemistry, you also affect your children’s chemistry! They will feel uplifted being around you. Instead of absorbing the chemistry of your stress and pain, your kids will absorb and internalize your health and joy. This will give them the neurochemical power they need to prevent or overcome learning and behavior challenges.
Smiling creates a positive cycle where the smile creates happiness and relaxation and the happiness and inner peace brings more smiles. So don’t wait to feel happy before smiling. Smile and then you will feel happy and so will others around you!