Day: August 21, 2012

Smile and the World Smiles With You!

“To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver,” is what Elizabeth Gilbert’s guru, Ketut, said to her in the award winning book, Eat, Pray, Love.

In fact, many ancient, traditional healers believe smiling washes away bad energy, calms the mind and brings health to the soul. Chinese medicine in particular believes there is a direct correlation between your emotions and specific organs. Some examples of this are: the lunges related to sadness or depression, the liver related to anger, and the stomach related to anxiety.

A hectic life coupled with physical and mental stress can leave little energy to will voluntary face muscles into a pleasant smile. However, our effort to work against gravity’s effect not only brightens the day of the recipient, but the person smiling as well.

Research has shown that chemical response to smiling and laughing will increase our happiness factor by raising serotonin levels, decreasing cortisol and adrenaline levels, reducing blood pressure and anxiety, and creating a more positive outlook on life. Dialectical behavioral therapy techniques use smile therapy in treatment of mental illnesses like borderline personality disorder.

Plus, think about the additional benefit of face exercises. Face yoga is an interesting trend that may not only fight wrinkles, frown lines and sagging skin, but may also force our perspective to rationalizing more than one simple benefit. This new trend includes exercises like the lion, the joker, happy cheeks, monkey cheeks, the prom queen, the Bugs Bunny and the truly odd smiling fish face. This simultaneously strengthens face muscles, gives you a face lift and I’m pretty sure you’ll be smiling on the inside while doing them.

Now being more aware of how the simple act of smiling can have a large impact on us, it should become an exercise in itself. So, as your day gets harder and more taxing, remember, you can affect not only others around you, but your internal environment, as well.