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Stressed? Smile!

Your physiological-biochemical weapon against stress.
Do you know that your emotions could be altered by your facial muscles' activity?
Smiling is spreading the sides of your lips from ear to ear. This movement -  also awakens the eye areas. When they say you smile with your eyes, it is true. Your eyes twinkled!

The physiological (the movements of the zygomaticus major muscle and orbicularis oculi muscle in smiling) awakens the biochemicals - smiling releases endorphins which are natural painkillers. The more endorphins your brain releases, the more your body can fight off symptoms of illnesses. When you smile, your brain also releases serotonin, which is a brain chemical that acts as a natural anti-depressant.
Imagine how you feel when you watch a baby, see your friends or loved ones. When our brains feel happy, endorphins are produced and signals are transmitted via neurons to your facial muscles to trigger a smile. Smiling has a positive feedback loop of happiness. When our smiling muscles contract, a signal is fired back to the brain, stimulating our reward system to further increase our level of happy hormones - endorphins. 

Brain happy - we smile, 
We smile- brain happy, 
Brain happy - we smile.... (and the loop goes on)

So remember, when you are stressed, don't reach for that chocolate cake calories.
In this case, "desserts" is "stressed" spelled backwards!

(On another note, if you are emotionally stressed about eating. Here's help. Click here:
And instead of getting angry with the world or wallowing in the "i am the victim" self pity,
Try SMILING first. 
Endorphins is the happy hormones that increases your self confidence and serotonin is the hormones that calms you down. And these allows you not only to feel better but think better too in the midst of a stressful situation. 
Fake it till you make it! Yes, if you want to be happy, just smile. Thanks to the positive feedback loop of smiling, we can change our brain's emotional processing pathway to feel happier with a simple smile.
Have you heard of this saying: 
"You smile and the world smiles along with you."
Try this experiment. Smile at a stranger in passing. Notice how almost automatically they return your smile? Seeing people smile stimulates our mirror neurones to trigger our facial muscle controls to produce a smile.

Smiling under our masks (now that we are masked up under the safety from covid situation)? No problem. A genuine smile gives us the smiling crease and your eyes will smile with you. 
Smiling is contagious! 
And so is happiness. Notice how you like being around happy people?
Now, start with a SMILE!

Yours always in health and happiness,
Dr Dee 

Dr Dee Dee Mahmood, Regional Head (RAAN) & Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University Australia, is a multi award winning Celebrity Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist, TEDX Speaker and Talk Show Host. Her scientific research on obesity was chosen for its impact on obesity in Asia and was accepted and presented at the President's Cup Award, American College of Sports Medicine Northwest Annual Meeting in Tacoma, Washington. Ambassadors to brands like Reebok, Norwegian Seafood Council and Celebrity Beaute, Dr Dee has several signature community programs to her name, Fat2Fit Asia and Walking Football for Health Asia. She conducts  synergy on community and corporate health and research collaborations internationally.

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