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Blessings this Christmas season and the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I love December! It always makes me smile to think of this season: the fun family time; the present shopping; the lights and Christmas trees; and the snow, and most important the birth of our savior Jesus Christ (Emmanual - God is with us! Matthew 1:23)

The fabulous neurological effects of smiling are what I want to tell you about in this article. Did you know that the mere act of smiling could stop a negative toxic mindset? In fact, research shows that smiling a lot helps towards rewiring the circuit in the brain that helps you keep a positive attitude to life! This means God has designed us in such a way that when we smile with our eyes and mouth…a real deep meaningful smile (called the Duchenne smile), the part of your brain involved in decision-making, intellectual pursuit, shifting between thoughts, and thinking things through rationally becomes stronger and more effective. Simply put, smiling makes you happier and more intelligent!

Some researchers have even shown that a smile lowers stress and blood pressure and stimulates the immune system. In fact our brain pays attention to cues from the rest of our body to determine our moods and emotions. So smiling increases our health as well! And just watch the effect on those around you because smiling, like attitude, is contagious. In fact it’s almost impossible not to respond to a real smile: the mirror neurons God has so graciously wired into our brains are designed to respond with a burst of feel good chemicals being released lifting our spirits and intellect. If smiling has such a profound affect on the kinds of experiences we have with other people and how they treat us, why don’t you stop a moment and practice a smile? Maybe it will take 7 attempts or more to create that real smile that involves all the muscles…but watch how you feel and watch the response of those around you as you go through the day smiling at everyone. 

A merry heart doeth good like medicine. 
(Prov. 15:13)

Copyright © Dr. Caroline Leaf
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Caroline Leaf
Web site: Dr. Caroline Leaf
 
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. Since the early 1980‘s she has studied and researched the Mind-Brain connection. During her years in clinical practice as a Communication Pathologist she developed tools and processes that help people develop and change their thinking and subsequent behavior. Her scientific Science of Thought techniques have transformed the lives of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), learning disabilities, emotional traumas and released the potential of thousands of young students and adults.
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