Neuroplasticity is the buzz word these days. You can find a “research study” that will tout everything (except eating butter and sugar) as promoting this phenomenon.
What is neuroplasticity? Norman Doidge, M.D. describes neuroplasticity as “the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and mental experience.” Utilizing the principles of neuroplasticity works in healing and functional change in people who have been unable to make progress with traditional means.
We know that movement causes more lasting change than, say, crossword puzzles or word games. Research is showing us that prolonged movement and change in habits causes the most change in the brain.
Many of us are seeing that the slow, pleasant, novel movements of the FM increase neuroplasticity, thus changing the brain.
Today I am going to talk about another, very fun way to get change in your brain.
Have you ever considered that smiling will change your brain and increase your well-being? I have heard smiling referred to as the “feel good party in your brain.”
Smiling causes the release of Dopamine, which increases our connection to anticipation of a certain event. Endorphins are responsible for masking pain or discomfort. Serotonin is the good, bad mood regulator. The “love hormone,” oxytocin, helps us to feel social.
Thic Nhat Hanh said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile and sometimes your smile can be the
source of your joy.” Have you experienced this? We all know that smiles are contagious. How do you feel when your loved one, your baby, or a stranger smiles at you? Smiles are contagious. They engender warmth to those around you, bringing feelings of affection and trust. Did you know that smiles even attract dogs?
I recently gave a talk at a networking group about my work, the Feldenkrais Method,® become an expert on you. Live with energy and vitality. A member demonstrated a sure way to practice your smile, and it made me smile. You can use a pencil or a chopstick, as she did. Put in in your mouth, at the corners of your lips horizontally. Hold it with your teeth. What are you forced to do?? SMILE!
I love smiling and I love talking about neuroplasticity. As I matter of fact, I live to increase neuroplasticity and the feeling of well-being in people every day. After a private session, a class, or a workshop, people smile. I love that; my oxytocin is a buzzing.
See you soon, keep smiling.