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Smile & Laugh Freely

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Dr. Dean Ornish & Anne Ornish: “When you smile, you’re extending your warmth and goodwill. Smiling is a gesture of kindness that transcends language barriers, so it can be easily received and understood. Have you noticed that you’re drawn to people who smile a lot? People who smile are perceived as being more likable than those who don’t smile, according to one 2016 study. Imparting a genial smile makes it easier to dispel social discomfort; in fact, your amiable appearance can be disarming without you needing to say a thing. The free, effortless act of smiling triggers neural messages in your brain that release feel-good neurotransmitters—dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Endorphins act as natural painkillers, without the negative side effects that are now epidemic with opioids. Similarly, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can act as a natural antidepressant, helping to regulate anxiety, happiness, and sexual desire and function. Now that’s worth smiling about! When practiced daily, smiling has the power to cultivate more symbiotic relationships with those around you—everyone gets a release of feel-good chemicals in their brain, reward centers get activated, mutual attractiveness is enhanced, and the chances of you all living longer, healthier lives increases. When you smile at someone, it is a gift to them.”
“When we’re children, we laugh seventy-five times a day, and when we’re adults, we only laugh seven times per day, so have as many good laughs as you can each day! Laughing feels good and is good medicine!” – Actress & Activist Marlo Thomas
“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain
“Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation.” – Viktor Frankl (Holocaust survivor)
Dr. Dean Ornish & Anne Ornish: “Smile and Laugh Freely. We all know just how good it feels to laugh, especially when you’re otherwise feeling stressed, fearful, or in pain. Just as stress can make our muscles tense and dampen our mood, laughter releases physical tension while boosting overall mood. Laughter can actually act as an antidepressant by causing our cells to release the neurotransmitter serotonin. Health experts now have proof that laughter is good medicine, especially for the heart. A good belly laugh can send 20 percent more blood flowing through your entire body. One study found that when people watched a funny movie, their blood flow increased. When you laugh, the lining of your blood vessel walls relaxes and expands. Laughing releases endorphins in the parts of the brain responsible for reducing pain and controlling emotions, providing an overall sense of relief and well-being. Laughter can also be powerfully contagious, which can quickly forge social bonds. A shared endorphin rush from a shared laugh fosters a shared connection, a feel-good sense of social togetherness.”
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