Reaons to Smile

Have you ever thought about the act of smiling? It sounds silly, right? Why would we THINK about smiling - we just 'smile' and that's that. But why do you smile? Is it because you are happy? Or because something is funny?

Smiling is such a great thing. I'm sure you've heard that smiling actually uses less muscles than frowning. There is a lot of research on emotions and facial expressions. One study showed that when we smile, we tighten some facial muscles. This, in turn, reduces some blood flow to a sinus, which means that cooler blood reaches the brain. Apparently, cooling of the blood to the brain provides us with pleasant feelings (I'm NOT telling you to purposely make your blood cold to feel good - it only happens if it is natural!) - see http://www.nytimes.com/1989/07/18/science/a-feel-good-theory-a-smile-affects-mood.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm for details.

Another study found that laughing actually decreases stress hormonse such as cortisol (which is released during stress, causing your body to break down protein in muscles; over prolonged stress, cortisol can cause increased fat deposits, reduced immunity, and cardia wear-and-tear). This study (http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/laughter.htm) also found that laughing increases endorphins (remember these? I talked about them before - they reduce pain sensations!).

So, without going into any more detail, it is already obvious why we SHOULD smile. But, if that is not enough...well, I thought of some reasons why I should smile. Feel free to comment and add your own!

(By the way, you had better be smiling by the end of this post!)

1. I am alive
2. I have wonderful friends and family
3. I am recovering and got a second chance at life
4. I am able to share my experiences with supportive readers
5. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my body, food on my table, shoes on my feet, and a bed to lay in
6. I am able to go to school
7. I have enough money to buy my needs and wants
8. I am able to love others and get their love in return
9. I have an amazing Church community
10. I have a functioning brain, organs, and body
11. I can read and write. I have a chance at getting an education
12. I live in a free country
13. I have a GOD who loves me and guides me
14. I am me. I am special. I am strong. I am living without ED. I am a survivor. I am a fighter.

SMILE! :)

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