Sometimes you might be experiencing overload at work. You may not always be enjoying your most stress-free of days and smiles may be low on the agenda too.
But have a go at this –
Try holding a pen in-between your teeth, without lips touching.
What do you find yourself doing?
Smiling of course!
It may feel like a fake smile, but it is actually sending messages to the brain as if it were real. This is great news because the brain will then respond by sending out endorphins, which are the feel-good hormones that flow round the body reducing feelings of stress.
It is, in fact, the opposite of the brain’s stress-response – it is the parasympathetic nervous system’s way of re-setting you back to your steady state. You don’t have to do the pen experience, you can simply smile!
That smile might feel fake at first, but it won’t take long to cheer you up!
A stress-free day with smiles
- Try it in your workplace – a big smile before you speak to someone. When we are feeling busy and stressed, we sometimes forget to do that. By bringing your awareness to something like this, you can not only reduce feelings of stress but improve your mood too. And perhaps even the mood of others. Notice how your smile encourages the other person to smile back.
- Try it if you are out shopping or eating at a restaurant. Your smile can create a flow of more smiles – a Mexican wave of smiles!
- If you are a commuter by train or bus, I dare you to try it as you look at other passengers on your journey!
I’d love to hear your experience of this. You know challenges and problems won’t disappear because of smiling. Yet you can see how it empowers you and can make any day slightly more stress-free with smiles!
PS Look out for World Smile Day on 2 October for extra reasons to smile
and who created the first smiley!
Yvette is a Mindfulness and Meditation Coach at Place of Serenity where you can learn more stress-freeing techniques as part of our Mindfulness Courses.
This blog post updated 3 May 2018
Day 4 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge with Sarah Arrow