Do you value being smiled at?
Do you value your smile?
Do you think about the value that your smile gives to yourself and those you smile at?
I have no idea whether it has anything to do with the brain injury I experienced, but either way the simple gesture of a genuine smile warms my heart and improves the health of my brain!
While a smile may seem and appear insignificant in the grand scheme of things, it is a powerful tool and weapon that is free, readily available and at your disposal - particularly if you really want to take charge of your life, positively impact the lives of those around you and inadvertently improving the health of your brain.
There are so many benefits of a smile. Let me share a few and also tell you how it has impacted me and those around me and you can expect the same!
7 values of a genuine smile:
1) Boost in your mood
There is a 'feel-good' factor that you automatically experience when you genuinely smile at others. I have been consciously smiling more so much so that I have found myself waking up with a smile...oh that feels so good and I am grateful for it.
I have heard that if you smile when it is difficult to do so (what you maybe going through at the time) it can release endorphins (Endorphins are hormones that are released when your body feels pain or stress. They are produced in your brain and act as messengers in your body. Endorphins are produced to help relieve pain, reduce stress and improve mood ( https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/23040-endorphins )...just by a smiling!
2) Strengthen social connections
Social isolation is an imprisonment that I had unconsciously placed myself within. Apparently one can find themselves in this predicament having experienced an injury to the brain. This is because there is that feeling of disconnect, disrespect and burdensome on friends and family.
The irony is that regardless of the country, culture or community, a smile is a universal language that coveys warmth, care and connection towards another person.
This is certainly something that I have been doing, more over the last few days. Just by smiling more and more obviously, it has opened up conversations with people that may have been awkward or not even thought about!
3) Reduce stress
I have found smiling to be my natural stress reliever! There are times when it feels like the most un-natural thing to do because of how I feel at that moment or what I maybe going through, however #IChoose to smile regardless. I eventually feel more calm and have more clarity to make thought through decisions.
One of my defence tactics is also to play music, Gospel music! Listening and allowing my environment to be consumed by the music makes me smile so widely that my cheeks ache.
4) Enhance physical health
Believe it or not, the more #IChoose to smile, the better I feel and the more physically active I want to become. I've even read in a number of studies that smiling can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and reduce inflammation! All by smiling...imagine that...which you and I have full control over. So, I commit to waking up with a smile and doing 7 mins of exercise at least x3 a week. (SMILE :-))
5) Foster positive mindset
Smiling has helped me to maintain a positive mindset during the toughest of times...and trust me I have had and still experiencing them today! Yet I am still standing! #IChoose to stand! #IChoose to face and knock down walls blocking me! #IChoose to win through it!
6) Improve cognitive function
How can you not feel better and more positive if you are consciously and genuinely smiling! But did you know that (so some academics have mentioned...and I can say that I have experienced this) the art of smiling can also improve your memory and problem solving skills! This is so true because I have unconsciously been experiencing improved cognitive functions. #IChoose to enjoy work so that I can stay on top of what needs doing, besides family and my own personal career goals that are tarting to chase me (a blog for another day!).
7) Enjoy being YOU!
Oh YES! and Oh YES!
#IChoose to win and grin!
I have begun and choose to continue enjoying who I am! WOW it has not been easy, and its a daily decision! Yet, #IChoose to smile regardless - this has put me in control of all my responses! Taking responsibility for my life regardless! So no reacting to circumstances...rather considering and responding!
In the journey of life, we all have experiences that will challenge us and cause us to reach the 'boiling point' of our lives having had a brain injury or not! Smiling may appear (if you think about it at all!!!) an trivial, insignificant and inconsequential thing!
But it really isn't!
There is so much power to be experienced by your smile! Your memory, Your physical health , improved health of your brain and so much more! Its knowing and being armed with this that:
#IChoose to smile!
#IChoose to smile so widely that it triggers others to smile
#IChoose to win and grin
#IChoose to win through it!
#IChoose to face and knock down walls blocking me!