ONE SMILE = 2,000 CHOCOLATE BARS, or $25,000!

In Brain, Dopamine, Influences, Relationships, Stress, Wellbeing by DC McGuireLeave a Comment

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A group of researchers in the UK working with Hewlett-Packard , discovered that smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in very powerful ways.

Depending on whose smile you see, the researchers found that one smile can be as pleasurable and stimulating as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate! The same level of pleasure from that one smile can be experienced by receiving unexpected money – a lot of money.  In fact it took  an unexpected $25,000 to equal the pleasure registered by the brain from the right smile!

And unlike lots of chocolate, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling has documented beneficial effects associated with: reduced stress hormone levels, increased health and mood enhancing hormone levels (like dopamine), and lowered blood pressure.

Maybe this is why Mother Teresa said: “I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.” What’s the catch? Only that the smile you give has to be big, and genuine!

Sources: Eric Barker’s terrific neuroscience for everyday life blog, Barking Up the Wrong Tree:  ebarker@ucla.edu, and Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap.

 

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