4 March 2018
Share a Smile! – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Wendy Hughes
On my way into work on the first day of March, the local radio station announced it was ‘National Share a Smile Day,’ so I emailed a BIG smiley face to colleagues in our Interchange Australia office. Needless to say I received some humorous replies that definitely brought a smile to my face, but they also made me think of how important smiles are to all of us. The general hustle and bustle of life, or too much time alone, often leave us bereft of the ability to smile and laugh. A Life Hack article titled ‘The Science of Smiling,’ asks us to imagine seeing a friend you haven’t seen for some time – neuronal signals travel to your brain and then to your cranial muscle signalling the smiling muscles in your face. Once the smiling muscles on your face contract they send a positive feedback loop back to the brain. “Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.” How amazing is that! You tell your brain to smile, which tells our muscles to smile which in turn tells our brain we feel good.
We all know smiling is contagious and it lowers anxiety and stress, but did you know smiling releases endorphins which are the same chemicals released in your body when your exercise – it’s called a “runners high”. Smiling gives you the same “high” without the need to ‘run’. Fantastic news if your health or disability prohibits you from many physical activities. The benefits of smiling don’t stop here, smiling even makes your immune system stronger by making your body produce white blood cells to fight off illnesses.
How do we find things to smile and laugh about? Spend time with friends, family, your peers, doing an enjoyable activity, surround yourself with happy, fun-loving, positive people who bring out your happy side.
Interchange Australia offers a wide variety of activities, groups and outings that provide you with an opportunity to meet new friends, learn new skills, have fun and SMILE! Call one of our friendly consultants on 1300 112 334 to learn more.