The power of friendly smiles
Smiling and breathing
Adding smiles to my breathing exercises, in particular meditation, brings added value. I synchronize smiling to some of the breathing exercises I practice. It may sound a bit far-out but it’s great and I feel it has a positive effect on me.
Smiling releases, a cocktail of hormones in our brain, mainly endorphin. Endorphin works very much like a natural tranquilizer, this is why we like to smile.
When it comes to smiles, the effect of forced-smiles (fake) and natural-smiles are very much the same (unless the forced smiles are a really bad copy).
The release of endorphin peaks, right after the transition into a smile and then decreases while we keep on smiling. Transitions from a neutral expression to a smile, is an effective way of getting “shots” of endorphin.
There are a lot of things we can learn from children and smiling is defiantly one of them. Children smile hundreds of times every day while cheerful adults smile around 40 to 50 times. In average adults smile less than 20 smiles a day so there is lots of room for improvement there.
I smile now on the inhale and tilt my head slightly to the front or side. On the exhale I get back to a neutral expression and straiten my head.