SMILE! – The Pollyanna Plan Recapped And Reviewed

As part of my blog’s (much needed) make over and update, I’ve been reading back through my posts from the very beginning and I’ve been struck by the many valuable lessons I’ve learnt along the way.

I’ve come across lots of different things (techniques, diets, supplements, exercises, you name it) that I have incorporated into The Pollyanna Plan and my healing journey. Some have worked wonders, others have set me back. And then there are the ones I thought were working wonders initially, but that didn’t really do anything at all. So, I thought it would be useful and fun for me (and hopefully for you too) if I recapped and reviewed some of the things I’ve experimented with.

Drum roll please….

This is officially the first post in The Pollyanna Plan Recapped and Reviewed Series – Yippee! 🙂

So, let me take you back to Day 6 of The Pollyanna Plan (January 30th 2013), which really wasn’t a good day for me health wise, or anything else wise. But significantly, it was the day I learnt all about a power I never knew I had.

I was lying in bed feeling dreadful, ill and really struggling to think of a reason to feel glad/happy/joyful, when I received an email (wish I could remember who from), which contained a link to a TED talk video. I have to say that I’m a bit of a fan of TED talks, and this one by Ron Gutman had an intriguing title, The Hidden Power of Smiling. (I’ll stick the link in the comments section below.)

Feeling curious, I began to watch and I’m so glad I did as it totally transformed my day and in turn, it became my Day 6 reason to feel glad/happy/joyful. Bonus!

In the video, Gutman discusses the many benefits of the simple act of smiling. I was amazed at how many scientific studies have proven that smiling, even when you have nothing in particular to smile about, can really help to improve your mood and health. Some studies show that it can even influence how successful you are in life.

According to Gutman, “British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate.” Imagine THAT! Also, “the same study found that smiling is as stimulating as receiving up to 16,000 pounds Sterling in cash. That’s like 25 grand a smile!” Woohoo!!

Smiling can also help to “reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphin and reduce overall blood pressure.”

Well, that convinced me! That day as I lay in bed, I decided to give it a go. I started with a small, fake smile, as it was all I could muster. And I found the more I forced a little smile, even when I REALLY didn’t feel like it, the easier I found it was to actually smile for real. Added to this, I felt a noticeable shift in my mood and outlook. Ok, so I didn’t go from feeling really crappy to full of the joys, but I definitely noticed a difference.

Smiling has now become one of the tools I use (if I remember!) when I notice that I’m slipping down the emotional scale. And in true recapping and reviewing spirit – I can highly recommend it! 🙂

Oh and if you can’t find anything to smile about today, here’s a pic of my dog, Frankie, smiling “the Frankie smile” for you! (You’re welcome!) 😉


© N. Lamy – The Pollyanna Plan – 2015- All Rights Reserved.

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