This is what I learned today…our brains are dumb and easily tricked. When people smile, the brain releases dopamine which tells your body that something has made you happy. If you put a pen sideways in your mouth, your brain will think you are smiling because you are doing the facial actions that seem like smiling, and your brain will still release the dopamine. So not only do we smile when we are happy, but the act of smiling makes us happier.
While I couldn’t sleep last night, and couldn’t find my remote, I had the fortune of being stuck watching Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and founder of Good Think Inc., give tips about how to lead a happier life. My first thought was “Oh gosh, another informercial”. I hadn’t quite gotten the songs of Peter, Paul, and Mary out of my head and was borderline brainwashed into ordering the greatest hits collection (If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening, all over this land!). o.0 I still may. Anyway, after hearing some of Shawn’s insight and being hypnotized by his charming dimples, I thought “What luck! This is just what I needed! To the blog! Time to share!” What intrigued me most about Shawn’s ideas is that they are founded in scientific research. This resonated well with me because I appreciate logical thinking, even where it concerns spirituality. It’s just who I am.
One especially interesting tip from Shawn Achor that I would like to share is his recommendation of adding 3 extra smiles to your day for 21 days to become happier people. According to research, 21 days is how long it takes to form a habit. Smiling is free so it’s totally worth a shot.
If you are dedicated, you’ll eventually become one of those extra perky people who typically annoy you because they are too darn happy, but you won’t care because you’ll be too darn happy to worry about being too happy. And for free! Oh joy!
So start today. Start now. Like, right now. Don’t be shy…I’m sure this won’t be the first time you’ve ever smiled at a computer screen! 🙂
Or you can just stick a pen sideways in your mouth. Think of it as training wheels.