Stress Relief Tool – Smiling & Sunglasses

Learn how smiling can be a powerful stress relief tool.

“Smile! It increases your face value.”
– Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) from Steel Magnolias (1989).

I love that quote because it’s so true – think about when you see someone smiling, you wonder what they are smiling at because you don’t want to miss out and smile too! OK, not everyone wants to smile, as I have encountered many curmudgeons who prefer to remain miserable, but the vast majority of people I have interacted with enjoy smiling. I’ve tested this walking down the street thinking about something funny, with a smile on my face, and the majority of strangers I make eye contact with smile back.

When you frown, your brain thinks “Oh, I must not be feeling positive emotions.” Whereas when it notices you flexing those muscles upward on the side of the mouth it thinks, “I must be smiling. Oh, we must be happy.”1 And you don’t even have to be happy to get the benefit – just hold that smile for 60 seconds and notice yourself feeling better.

You know what is even more amazing? Research shows smiling gives the brain as much pleasure as 2,000 bars of chocolate, or $25,000.2 Now, that’s a lot of chocolate and a lot of money. Smiling comes calorie and tax free though.

And if you find yourself smiling outdoors in the daylight, maximize the benefits of smiling by putting on sunglasses. When you squint, that tells your brain that you are worried. So smiling and sunglasses makes for a powerful stress relief combo.

  1. Time Magazine – The 5 Habits That Will Make You Happy, According To Science
  2. Ron Gutman – Smile: The Astonishing Powers Of A Simple Act

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to take action and overcome their self-imposed barriers to success using clever yet simple tools and techniques.

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