The Wonder of a Smile

by Anna

“Everytime  you come in you only need to smile and it immediately lifts the mood in the room”, said a patient of mine to me yesterday.

And it is true. I do smile most of the times. “Oh yes, the one that always looks happy”, is another description of myself I was once told. And why do you think I smile so much? Because I don’t have a care in the world? Because I am simple-minded? No, I knowingly smile because it makes life more bearable and less stramineous. Life is easier lived with a smile than with clenched lips, for clenching adds extra strain to our muscles and thus makes the day so much more tiring.

The day not only goes easier for you because your smile in turn activates and consequently releases more “happy brain chemicals”, making you even happier, but also can it be contagious and lighten the day of those around you.

“Just seeing you makes me happy”, from a colleague the other day or simply seeing the light return to patient’s eyes when you smile at them is proof for that.

Of course there are days where I really rather cry, and it is okay to cry. It is in fact very clearing, but again leads to tiredness when it lasts for a long time. Apparently, poking your fingers into your lower cheeks and lifting them up (we are talking about the face by the way), can already trigger the happy-making hormones and it can only get better from there. Try it, I dare you!

The happy chemicals, or endorphins can also be found in certain food, particularly in chocolate. I wrote about raw chocolate and it’s benefits over the “not-so-chocolaty-chocolate” commonly found in supermarkets. Real, untreated, sugar and milk free chocolate will make your smile (and teeth) last longer.