Thursday, 13 May 2010

Smiling on through

Did you know, your body doesn't know the difference between you putting on a fake smile, and you smiling for genuine reasons of joy? It turns out that is the case, both release the same feel-good chemicals in your brain. So, next time you're feeling down or flat, try smiling, it might just do you some good.

Also, it's fun smiling while walking down the street - some people will wonder what it is you are smiling about, others will pick up your smile, be it consciously or subconsciously, and pass it on themselves - in a very short space of time a smile can spread around a town, a county, and in a bit more time, assuming the modern transport systems are working ok, right around the country or the globe! What fun!

I recently went down with a bout of shingles, with a painful rash starting at my spine at the bottom of my neck and spreading around to just below my collarbone. One day in particular I felt really bad - a blinding headache that seared through my brain when I moved, and particularly so as I squatted on my haunches to feed and inject my diabetic cat. It was so intense I felt like crying, and had to go to see the emergency doctor. But, during the consultation one of us said something mildly amusing, and I smiled. Amazingly, that smile helped my head! Not a lot, of course, I needed some very strong painkillers to take the pain away, but the fact it helped a little showed me how important it is to keep that side of myself going, even when I feel dreadful.
I'm lucky, I quickly felt better. Simply taking the pain pills made a big difference, and within 3 days I didn't need them. But throughout I have kept smiling and joking, and I'm sure that has helped my immune system to fight.

Of course, you don't have to have an illness to make use of this benefit. Just keep humour in your life, keep smiling through your day, and get those benefits every day. Make the world a happier place, and your body a healthier one, just with a smile.

And best of all, they are completely free :o)