Why smiling is healthy

A well known song of Charlie Chaplin (performed in a very moving way by Jermaine Jackson, at the memorial service of Michael Jackson, and below by Nat King Cole ) has the following passage:

'Smile! What's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.' 

Beautiful, right?

Laughing is healthy, they say, but why? For many reasons, actually!

Smiling is healthy physically

When you smile/laugh (the louder, the better) your brain releases a chemical called endorphin. This is a natural painkiller and has a soothing effect, which lowers blood pressure. Laughing also strengthens your blood vessels as well as increases the blood flow, so it's very good for your heart!

It strengthens your immune system

Furthermore, your immune system is strengthened during laughing. Your body produces so called natural killer cells. This type of cell is comparable to M-O of the movie Wall-E, it scans every cell and destroys the 'bad guys' like tumor cells.

And gets rid of stress hormones

During a good laughing fit, antibodies are produced, that get rid of stress hormones. So laughing is seriously stress reducing! (In the clip below that fact is demonstrated in a very funny way :D)

Do the smiling test

Getting back to Charlie Chaplin, the good man was absolutely right. Even when you don't feel well, and smiling or laughing is the last thing you want to do, it helps when you just make yourself do it anyway. Slowly, but surely, you will actually start to feel better. You are kind of fooling your own body, but it really works! A fun detail (about which I could fill a whole other blog) is that it is not as easy to fool other people. A fake smile is usually easy to spot. Try doing the BBC-test  on real and fake smiles check how well your people insight is ;)

XOXO Maruja

Follow my work for Vocal Psychology, where I will teach you to sing your heart out, putting a smile on your face for sure!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rkNBH5fbMk

First published in 2013, updated in 2019

 

 

 


BREAKING FREE

There's plenty of inspirational reading to be found online, in magazines & self help books to do with becoming the 'best you' you can be. Don't you love that?! Great concept. Imagine it just for a moment. Close your eyes & visualise yourself living your best life! Your best healthy, gorgeous self!

I was out enjoying lunch the other day with my family & a simply dressed, radiant woman sat down close by us & we shared a word or two.

What always impresses me most about a person is their smile. Their radiance. Their GLOW. This lovely lady wasn't wearing much make-up - if any, but she was amazing! Healthy, happy & at peace with herself & us as well. She was no supermodel, but bound to brighten up the day of anyone she may have bumped in to! For sure!!... It was raining too... & she had the cutest little puppy. :)

My weekend challenge! Love people. Be kind. Put on something nice in the morning & GLOW all day long. The coolest thing is that being your best you isn't only about you...! Lets break free of our own limitations & be beautiful. Touching the lives of others & inspiring them too. ;))

Love Abigail


Positivity: Always Be Positive

Being Positive.

As much as we try to be positive all.the.time, negativity and doubtful thoughts always manage to creep in. Especially during times of physical, mental and emotional weakness. During these times, I try to take small positive thoughts, and repeat them over and over, or in my mind remind myself of all of the things I am thankful for. Putting yourself and your situation in Perspective is vital.

Below I just wanted to provide the simplest of thoughts and ideas you can incorporate into your thoughts and brainwaves when those negative thoughts do creep in!

  • Realize it’s possible, instead of telling yourself why you can’t.
  • Become aware of your self-talk.
  • Squash negative thoughts like a bug.
  • Replace them with positive thoughts.
  • Love what you have already.
  • Be grateful for your life, your gifts, and other people.
  • Every day. (before you get out of bed give thanks for all the good things in your life & before bed too)
  • Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • But be inspired by them.
  • Accept criticism with grace.
  • But ignore the naysayers.
  • See bad things as a blessing in disguise.
  • See failure as a stepping stone to success.
  • Surround yourself by those who are positive.
  • Complain less, smile more.
  • Image that you’re already positive.
  • Then become that person in your next act.

In our lives we are constantly bombarded with stress, negative people, situations, and bad environments. BUT it is what we take away from it, and HOW we choose to react to the situation that is before us. That is a choice, therefore CHOOSE to be positive. There is no other way.

Jot down some of these simple positive thoughts, the next time you need to take a step back, and breathe.

Positivity is contagious. Smile and laugh when it doubt :)

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.’ ~Herm Albright


Off day? Instant pick me ups!

We all have days that just feel off, even the most positive person on earth. Maybe you got some bad news, maybe it's raining, maybe you feel overwhelmed by your schedule, or maybe you just woke up in a bad mood for no particular reason. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, try these things first:

SMILE
Especially when you don't feel like it. Even if you don't 'smize', simply smiling with your lips triggers your brain to release endorphins. Smiling makes you more attractive, major plus! It is also 'contagious', the easiest way to make the world a better place in a small way ;) What else? It literally improves your health by lowering your blood pressure and boosting the immune system.

Still need some help? Here are my go to pick me ups
Instant pick me ups
Sayings & Quotes

BREATHE (properly, that is)
Take a deep breath and exhale all the way. Relax all your (probably tensed up) ab muscles, I guarantee you that will already feel better! I truly believe that this is why people feel like they need a cigarette when they're frustrated, they need to breathe all the way... In fact, I think I will write a more detailed post on breathing soon, it is something most people could do better (I know this sounds weird, but it's true).

EXERCISE
Run for 30 min, put your 'aggression' into lifting some weights. You have all this extra (negative) energy, why not turn that into something positive. I guarantee you: you will feel better.


ZOOM OUT
List all the things that you are thankful for and that you have going for you in life. Trust that things will get better, because deep down you know they will eventually.

FRIENDS
Your friends will always make you feel better, that's why they're your friends! Go out for a drink, go shoe shopping, share funny stories, laugh, hug, just hang out, even if your busy schedule only allows you 20 min of downtime. It will put you in an exceedingly better mood and you'll be more productive as a result.

And if aaalll this doesn't work, give yourself the day off and watch your favorite comedy movie. 'Dumb and dumber' always does the trick for me!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TViEzHJrMcM&feature=related [/youtube]