By Abbie Cornett
Smile! With everything that is happening in the world right now, I know that sounds like a silly thing to say. You are probably thinking: What do I have anything to smile about? Trust me, I know how you feel. It seems like 2020 has lasted 10 years already, and there are still more than two months left until the New Year. But smiling may be exactly what you need to do!
I know that when you're stressed or feeling down that smiling seems like an impossible thing to do. But smiling comes with real-life health benefits. Studies show when you smile, your brain releases neuropeptides that can help fight stress. When this happens, other neurotransmitters are released than can help reduce pain and help with depression. There is even evidence that smiling can boost your immune system and possibly prolong life.1 Studies have shown even a fake smile helps by tricking your brain into believing you are happy!
Smiling isn't just for you! When you smile, you make the people around you feel better. In fact, smiling can be contagious. If you smile at people around, you will smile back. If someone smiles at you, don't take it for granted. You need to make a conscious effort to smile back at them. Think of it like a circle of happiness.
While I am the first one to admit this year has sucked, instead of frowning anymore, I am going to count my blessings, smile and fake it till I make it! Keep smiling everyone.
1. Spector, N. Smiling Can Trick Your Brain Into Happiness and Boost Your Health. NBC News, Nov. 28, 2017.
Accessed at https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/smiling-can-trick-your-brain-happiness-boost-your-health-ncna822591.