How to Be Happy: Are You Living on the Smile Side of Life? by Noreen Braman
A long time ago in a dark faraway teenage place, I was desperate to wring a little joy and happiness out of a dismal life. Being a bibliophile, I figured I could read my way out of my problem. And I actually stumbled on a ridiculous sounding, but ultimately successful, piece of advice: If I could just pretend I was happy, then eventually I really would be.
Years later, I would learn that this advice is often given to people who are depressed, and it is based on the scientific reality that the human brain reacts the same way to feigned happiness as real happiness. It will release the feel-good hormones that eventually lead to stress relief and, believe it or not, real feelings of satisfaction and happiness.
In fact, just the simple act of smiling, whether you feel like it or not, tells your brain to release endorphins – those feel-good hormones. So, when you need a pick-me-up, try smiling – especially at someone else – and you both get some endorphins!
And if you really want to feel better, try laughing for no reason. Start off as a pretend laugh, because your brain doesn't know the difference. Then look someone in the eye, and soon both of you will be laughing for real! Try it!
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