The Great Smiling Experiment
As a teenage clerk at JCPenney, I was snapped at many times by grumpy, impatient Christmas shoppers. Because of this, I try to be thoughtful of store clerks especially during the holiday season. Interacting with one exceptionally dour clerk last December, I looked her in the eye and smiled. The moment my lip curved upward her entire demeanor brightened.
I know smiling is a nice thing to do. However, I’d never scrutinized the reactions I received because of the smile. That’s how the great smiling experiment of 2015 was inspired. I invested in some whitening strips and started smiling everywhere I went paying close attention to how the person reacted on the receiving end.
The vast majority of people reacted by visibly relaxing and smiling in return. The kicker was, not only did their reactions turn more positive, I felt my moods were more positive at the end of the shopping trip.
So, I had to ask my favorite question, “Why?”
Smiling affects your brain and body. Facial movement of your jaw muscle can influence emotional experience (see facial feedback hypothesis). According to this article on Psychology Today, smiling helps release feel good chemicals; dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Pain, blood pressure, and stress are all lowered due to smiling. Test subjects felt better overall.
Also, mirror neurons help double the pleasure of smiling. Mirror neurons fire in reaction to seeing another’s action. So, one smile between two people triggers a positive response in both brains. Smiling not only helps you, it helps your fellow human!
Smiling is Sexy
So, who knew that smiling is kind of like doing your kiegels? They both help stimulate and no one knows what you are up to! Sexual desire and arousal are directly affected by dopamine and serotonin. A lifted mood and lowered stress level also positively influence desire. For low-libido gals, we need all the ‘feel-goods’ we can get
Neurochemicals are great. However, Lifting low-libido first starts with taking care of ourselves and feeling good about ourselves. I think the true benefits of smiling have to do with the emotional gratification of connecting with another human being.
Don’t just turn your frown upside down in the community! Flash that sweet grin toward your husband. Dazzle him at the door with a brilliant and warm smile. Create a light-hearted atmosphere with miles of smiles. And, if you want to add some laughter that is all the better!
“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will change expression and smile,’…” Job 9:27.
Where have I been?
I hope you all are doing okay. It is so good to be back and writing to you all! I apologize that O7 ‘went dark.’
Over the past 8 weeks, we have been settling into our new home. But what took the bulk of my time is I returned to the classroom after 20 years. After receiving my Christian counseling certification last year, I decided to start working toward my Master’s. My reasoning for going back to school is that I had the time now and I wanted to be able to serve God and you better. I do have the time since we’ve relocated and I have no obligations, yet, in our new community. However, I underestimated how much time one class consumes when it is over only an 8 week period as opposed to a semester. And, I took 3 classes. Stupid! Anyway, as of today, I am finished with my first three classes and now have time to go to the bathroom. Seriously, I could barely sneak out for groceries and forget unpacking boxes!! We are still living amidst towers of boxes.
Lord willing, I’ll be back on a more consistent basis, shooting for once a week.
Regarding the new house, are any of you interior decorators out there? If so, and you’d be willing to do a little pro bono work, give me a shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!
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