Smiling is Therapy

In this article you’ll learn the therapeutic value of one smile.

I find myself fascinated with the power that something as simple as a smile has to create such positive change – inside and out.

Little things can make a BIG difference.

The simple act of smiling releases serotonin which serves as an anti-depressant/mood lifter and the great thing about it is you don’t need a prescription, you won’t suffer negative side effects, and you can’t overdose.

You probably know from experience that smiling is contagious. This is also a scientific fact. The fact that it’s contagious means that you could be everyone’s serotonin dealer – doling out good moods to everyone you meet, and you can’t get arrested for it. It’s perfectly legal.

You don’t even have to feel like smiling to smile, you can force yourself to smile and the feeling will soon follow.

Try This Experiment

Pull your shoulders back, breathe deep, look up, and smile. Now try to feel bad without changing your physical position. Keep smiling, even if you don’t feel like it. You’ll find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to feel bad. The relationship between your body and emotion is too closely linked.

Smile to Save Your Marriage

My wife and I use a technique in our marriage I call the “Cheesy Smile Technique” as a tool to help improve our relationship when one or both of us are really tired or cranky.

Here’s how it works:

I see her and notice she’s not smiling.
I notice I’m not smiling either.
I notice how unhappy she looks and vice versa.
I flash her a cheesy smile that just looks silly – an obvious fake smile.
She gives me a cheesy smile right back.
We hold our cheesy smiles steady until, within seconds, they turn into real smiles.
And without a word, we have addressed and disarmed the cranky elephant in the room.
Our moods are lifted and we giggle.
There is no need for us to go on silently guessing if we did something wrong to make the other cranky.

We’re good. We know we love each other again.

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve done this over the years and it really helps us to be happier in times when our crankiness might have otherwise  caused a downward spiral.

Just one little cheesy smile can save a marriage.

Smile for Your Health

You know, along with the release of the good-mood chemical serotonin, smiling triggers the release of dopamine and endorphins which help to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and relax your whole body.

Smiling is Better than Chocolate

When you see an attractive smiling face, a part of your brain (called the orbitofrontal cortex) responsible for processing sensory rewards is activated. This means that you actually feel rewarded when seeing someone smile.

In fact, smiling stimulates your brain’s reward mechanism in a way that even chocolate cannot compete with. British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain reward stimulation as up to 2000 bars of chocolate!

The same study found that one smile can produce as much reward stimulation as receiving the equivalent of $25,000 in cash!

One smile.

Did you know that children smile around 400 times a day? They’re rich!

How often do you smile?

I dare you to do it more often whether you feel like it or not and I’m willing to bet that if you you do, you will feel like doing it more often.

You’ll be happier.
You’ll be healthier.
You’ll be more relaxed.
You’ll have better relationships.
You’ll love life more.

Don’t believe me?


Smile 100 times a day every day for a month and see for yourself.


© 2014 Trent Janisch –


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