Smile 😊

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A smile is universal, it means the same all around the world. A smile goes a long way, it can start a friendship, dissolve an argument and spread happiness. Most classes I teach I encourage my students to smile. Even if it’s a forced smile, the body will think you are happy and work better.

The science

According to science there are 19 types of smile. They are categorised into 3 main groups: To reward, affirm and dominate. The smile I love, which interestingly is not in the scientific study, is the smile that glows out of your heart from pure joy and happiness. Let’s face it that’s what we all want, a smile as pure and innocent as a baby’s smile. It just happens automatically when we connect to our true self. The smile of an enlightened Yogi.

It’s scientifically proven that smiles are contagious. A smile has the power to lighten up a room. Simply having a smiley face attracts people to you. So practise smiling with your eyes. Use a mirror and make your eyes shine. When you go out make eye contact with people, nod and shine those eyes to make others feel better. If they run away you are trying too hard 😂

Force a smile

Smiling releases mood boosting neurotransmitters including dopamine and serotonin, which in short makes us feel happy 😊 The amazing thing is we can fake a smile and the body reacts the same way. Yes, dopamine and serotonin will release even with a fake smile. OK it’s a bit weird to smile for no reason, but try it. Maybe this is where a mask comes in handy. Force a smile and see how you feel. The benefits are instant. If you struggle to smile, hold a pencil between your teeth, it will engage the same facial muscles and trick your body into being happy. So it turns out to “grin and bear it” is a wise expression. 

Smiling reduces stress, boosts your immune system, lowers blood pressure, elevates our mood, reduces pain and even makes us look younger. Apparently, people who smile often appear more likeable, tend to be more productive at work and attract abundance.

On average adults smile roughly 5-50 times per day, in comparison to children who smile as many as 400 times per day. So find your child self and smile as often as you can. If you want to increase your daily smile average, start and finish your day with a smile. Try smiling in the mirror before brushing your teeth, maybe you can feel a smile while you brush your teeth 😊

By Paul Selvey

Paul has practised Yoga for over two decades and taught Yoga full time for 8 years. With 1000+ hours of advanced teacher training he shapes a mix of movement, breathing, kriya, sound therapy and meditation techniques to suit his students, from beginner to advanced.

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