Countdown: TOP 8 Brain Exercises – #8

Your brain is always engaged in activity.

Some of this activity is beneficial to your health while some of it is not. In fact, some of your brain activity can be quite harmful to your health especially if it is repeated often.

Using your own conscious will and attention, you can engage your brain in activity that not only benefits your brain but your overall health as well. By repeating this process consistently, you’ll automate the habits of good brain health for yourself.

In this 8-part article series, we are going to count down the Top 8 Brain Exercises you can actively engage in for boosting your brain health and overall well-being.

The information shared in this series is from the book How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist by Andrew Newberg M.D. & Mark Robert Waldman.

After you read this article, I challenge you to actively practice this exercise and test it for yourself.

Approach this process in a spirit of curiosity and fun. See what happens.

Are you ready?

Drumroll please…….


Top Brain Exercise #8: SMILE

Yup! Smile …even (and especially) if you don’t feel like it.

Smiling at others inspires them to respond to you with greater generosity and kindness, which is good for your social health.

Smiling repetitively disrupts mood disorders and strengthens the brain’s ability to maintain a positive outlook on life – a key factor of resilience and good health. In fact, optimism (positive outlook) is often regarded as the #1 indicator of good mental health.

To quote co-authors Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman, “Smiling stimulates brain circuits that enhance social interaction, empathy, and mood. In fact smiling has such a powerful effect on the brain that if you just see a picture of a smiling face, you will involuntarily feel happier and more secure. Conversely, frowning (or looking at frowning faces) stimulates feelings of anger, disgust, and dislike.

Your smile can be wonderfully therapeutic if you engage in it often.

It has the power to make someone’s day – even save a life. Maybe yours.

On that note, I’d like to leave you with a wise little poem written by a bright 13 year old girl named Barbara Hauk that wonderfully illustrates the power of your smile.

SMILE by Barbara Hauck

She smiled at a sorrowful stranger. The smile seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend and wrote him a thank-you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank-you that he left a large tip after lunch.
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip, bet the whole thing on a hunch.
The next day she picked up her winnings, and gave part to a man on the street.
The man on the street was grateful; For two days he’d had nothing to eat.
After he finished his dinner, he left for his small dingy room.
(He didn’t know at that moment that he might be facing his doom.)
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy and took him home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful to be in out of the storm.
That night the house caught on fire. The puppy barked the alarm.
He barked ’til he woke the whole household and saved everybody from harm.
One of the boys that he rescued grew up to be President.
All this because of a simple smile that hadn’t cost a cent.

Smile today and save a life.
Smile today and change your life.

Be well. 🙂

Stay tuned as the next article in this countdown series, reveals the #7 Top Brain Exercise!

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© 2014 Trent Janisch –

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