Fete Lifestyle Magazine November 2021 - Food Issue | Page 67

Photo Credit Ivana Cajina

he simple act of

smiling can change

your mood, outlook,

and day. When was the last time you smiled? Did someone do something to make you smile? Was it a funny memory that came to mind or a nice thought about someone you care about? Were you exchanging a smile with someone? Or maybe you were smiling back at you in the mirror. It's ALL GOOD. No matter the reason. Smiling is good for you.

Scientific studies prove that there are psychological, social, and physical benefits to smiling. Researchers have found that smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that help reduce stress. Smiling triggers the “feel-good” neurotransmitters including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. As a result, the Endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas Serotonin is an antidepressant. Smiling allows people to feel more relaxed and can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. When you smile the muscles in your face lift, making a person appear younger and more attractive. Research shows people who smile regularly appear more confident and are more likely to be approached.

In the past 22 months, many people have been dealing with situational stressors such as the pandemic, loss of life, loss of freedom and financial challenges. When people are dealing with these things they typically aren't thinking about smiling or wanting to. It is so easy to get caught up in our life demands and daily routines. Most people don't even realize their day could go a lot smoother if they would simply remember to smile. Smiling literally serves as a natural chemical anti-depressant and anti-anxiety remedy in the brain.

When I am “people watching,” I often notice people seem so serious; they have facial expressions that are often withdrawn, flat or frowning. Sometimes they even look angry or worried. I seldom see people smiling. It is exactly times like these, that I wish I could just give them a big hug, and tell them that everything will be alright, but I don't. Instead I offer them a kind smile with the intention of comfort. I notice when I am being intentional about smiling, most people smile back at me. It makes me feel good knowing I made someone smile.

As a Psychologist in my practice

over the years I often hear

stories about people

feeling invisible,

disconnected and

unworthy. People

don’t realize the


impact a smile can

have on someone

who is depressed

or discouraged. My

call to action is

for you to

practice smiling daily.

Smile when you greet

someone. Smile when

you look in the mirror.

Smile when you


Think of something

that makes you smile

and remember it

daily. Smiles are


A simple smile spreads

love. Even with masks,

our eyes are smiling.