Thursday, 2 May 2013

Teeny Tiny Smile . . . and Dolphins

I was talking to an elderly lady about diet and eating habits.

'Little and often,' she said.

It's advice I've heard before.

After a quick search on the net, I came across an article from the Daily Mail:

'Grazing was the way our body was designed to eat,' says nutritionist Antony Haynes. 'Large meals burden the digestive system, often causing bloating and lowered energy while the body struggles to digest them.

'By eating smaller meals you prevent this, and the body functions more efficiently throughout the day.' When we eat a big meal, the sugar level in our blood rises, but once that meal is digested that blood sugar level falls, taking your energy and mood with it.

The problem is, the bigger the meal, the bigger the crash - and the higher your need for sugary snacks to refuel your body.

'The regular influx of food with a little-and-often approach keeps your energy level stable and makes it easier for you to cope with everything you have to do in a day,' says nutritionist Natalie Savona.


So that's our food intake, but then I thought, why not practise little and often with smiling?

Back to the net. Ten facts about the benefits of smiling:

1. Smiling makes us attractive
2. Smiling changes our mood
3. Smiling is contagious
4. Smiling relieves stress
5. Smiling boosts your immune system
6. Smiling lowers your blood pressure
7. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers and serotonin
8. Smiling lifts the face and makes you look younger
9. Smiling makes you seem successful
10. Smiling helps you stay positive
(You can read the entire article here:

I think they were clutching at straws with a few of these pointers, but you get the gist - smiling is good for you.
So back to the little and often technique. You don't have to paste a massive grin on your face to gain the health benefits of smiling. 
Right now, do the smallest smile you can manage.

The teeniest, tiniest smile you have ever done that it almost can't be seen on your face.

And this is the important part: listen to your body.

What does it feel like?

Because if you're anything like me, it feels great. I can feel something comforting starting in my stomach and working its way around. Maybe it's those good 'dolphins' that are released every time we smile (point number 7 above). They go swimming around, soothing everything they come across.

So if we practise doing this tiny smile throughout our day, we're going to feel great from the inside out. 

We don't have to give the world a huge Cheshire Cat grin to show that we're happy, to give off good vibes, to improve our state of mind, or to appear attractive. 
Little and Often.
Try it and see if it makes a difference to your day.
You might find that the things which would normally irritate you, suddenly don't have an impact. Or the things that would normally cause stress (traffic jams, deadlines) simply roll of your shoulders.
'You seem very calm today,' a work colleague might say. 
They've no idea that you've got a teeny, tiny smile working its magic, and dolphins in your belly.



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