Nourishing Yourself … Smile

Are you looking for ways to find and have more emotional nourishment? You’ve probably heard the saying, “a smile can light up a room”. The simple act of smiling and laughter can change your physiology. Even if you don’t feel happy, the mere act of smiling or having a chuckle will initiate changes which can uplift your energy.

Smiling has a positive effect on our happiness and physical health. It releases pleasure hormones called endorphins, natural painkillers and serotonin, which is a natural antidepressant. Physically it boosts our immune system, reduces our stress, lowers our blood pressure, helping the heart to recover more quickly after stressful events.  Socially it makes people want to be with us because we look and feel more attractive and open. Smiling has also been shown to help people get over loss and bereavement faster as it facilitates the recovery process and protects the heart.

While smiling is wonderful antidote, even better if you can laugh at the same time. A good laugh relieves tension and stress in your body, and the subsequent relaxation in your muscles can last up to forty-five minutes. The science also shows that laughter boosts the immune system and keeps you feeling well.

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Hydrating Emotionally

Relating with other people is one of our core fundamental needs. Just as water hydrates the body and keeps it functional, so too does having multiple connections with others … they keep us emotionally functional, healthy, balanced and “loved up”!

Social connections comprise the people we know, the friends we confide in, the family we belong to, our tribe of like-minded individuals and the community we live in. These relationships contribute to our physical and mental health. At a fundamental level we need each other to survive and thrive.

Studies show that interacting and relating with others leads to strengthening of our immune system. Having social support with people who evoke positive emotions helps us to recover from disease faster.  Typically, people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. When we are surrounded by loved ones, the feeling of being cared for and loved releases a flood of powerful hormones into our bodies which not only make us feel better but also significantly strengthen our immune system.

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