“Just let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy, rainy day.
And if your sweetie cries, just tell her – that a smile will always pay.
Whenever skies are gray, don’t you worry or fret.
A smile will bring the sunshine, and you’ll never get wet.
So let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy, rainy day.”
If this seems like simplistic, happy talk, consider this scientific fact: Your facial expression actually triggers production of emotional chemistry that is related to both happiness and unhappiness. Author Marci Shimoff in her book, Happy for no reason wrote: “When you’re happy for no reason, you bring happiness to your outer experiences rather than trying to extract happiness from them.” New science has revealed an amazing discovery that our physical expressions can drive emotional responses.
French physiologist, Dr. Israel Waynbaum discovered that frowning triggers the secretion of stress hormones cortisol, adrenalin, and noradrenline, which inhibit the immune system, raise blood pressure, and increase susceptibility to anxiety and depression. Smiling, on the other hand, reduces secretion of stress hormones and raises the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good hormones, while at the same time enhancing the function of the immune system by increasing T-cell production.
It seems the brain when downloading learning experiences into memory links emotions with behaviorial responses such as a smile or frown. Scientists found that an emotion can drive an experience and an experience can elicit an emotion. So, when you smile for no reason, your smile causes an emotional response causing your body to release its feel-good hormones which then cause you to feel good. Amazing, isn’t it? Our attitude and the story we tell ourselves profoundly affects the outcome of our expreiences both positive and negative.
When problems arise and seemingly bad things are happening it is possible to generate positive feelings. When there seems to be no apparent reason to be happy, reframing the situation can affect the outcome. It is never what happens that is the problem, rather it is the story you tell about what has happened that affects us most. Choose a story that offers hope. Bad events can be seen as temporary setbacks, that can and will be overcome. Marci Shimoff advises that when plagued with a persistent negative thought, lean into an equally true positive thought about the same situation. She suggests repeating the advice of Zen masters who pray: “Thank you for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever.”
For now, Earlynn’s just sayin’: “Never underestimate the power of a smile to turn life around.”
To get a copy of Earlynn’s book, Transformed, just click on the above tab, ‘Earlynn’s Book” to order your copy. Thank you. God bless.