I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
Shout out to Jeff <-- one of my brilliant clients - for bringing this to my attention. It was all about the benefits of smiling and it got me thinking about PERFECT Qigong. But more about that in a minute. Because first I'd like to give you the 30,000 ft, birds eye view on this subject, which I first came across in the brilliant book ':59 Seconds, Think a little change a lot' by Professor Richard Wiseman. You should read it. So apparently there are two types of smile:
- The Duchenne Smile – Named after the 19th Century neurologist who first described it. This kind of smile is a genuine smile, it reaches from the mouth all the way up to the eyes.
- The ‘Pan Am’ Smile – Named after the false smile used to greet passengers. This smile only involves the mouth.
Before I drop the scientific bomb, I’d like to quickly present you with three of the main benefits of smiling, apart from the bleeding obvious of course:
- Can lead to lower heart rate
- Can reduce stress levels
- Can boost your immune system
Not bad huh?
But surely only a genuine Duchenne type smile can give you the health benefits of smiling?
Or so I thought. But recent studies have shown this isn’t true.
In one study they asked a group of volunteers to hold a pencil between their teeth while taking a test. Try it for yourself and see what happens. Unbeknown to the volunteers holding the pencil this way forced the lower part of their face to smile.
This group tested happier than another group who took the same test. But this group were told to hold the pencil between their lips and not allow their teeth to touch it. Again I encourage you to check this out for yourself and see what happens.
Holding the pencil this way forces you to frown.
Did you catch the valuable nugget I just gave you?
In case you dropped it, here it is:
So you’d be wise to practice smiling at regular intervals during the day. Try to hold it for 15 to 30 seconds and think of things, people and places that would evoke a real smile from you.
Preferably you’ll do this when nobody’s looking. Cos smiles are highly infectious and you wouldn’t want to randomly inflict happiness on someone else would you =)
Now brace yourself.
Because as good as all this is, the affects of this type of smiling are nothing compared to the benefits you can get from Really smiling from your heart.
It’s the R in PERFECT.
If you already know how to smile from your heart I want to make certain that you’re not making the beginner mistake of keeping this powerful tool locked up, only to be used during your Qigong practice.
Listen my friend, Smiling from your heart is a skill you can practice whenever you want. And I recommend you do.
If you don’t know how to Really smile from your heart yet, I’d love to show you how. You’ll find simple instructions along with a link to the best video I’ve ever watched on how to gain this skill on page 46 of my book: Smiling From The Heart.
You’ll also discover written, video and Mp3 instructions on the other 6 steps of PERFECT Qigong along with a whole host of other Qigong healing techniques and non-Qigong tools you can use to live a happier, healthier and longer life.
Then check out this link:
Enjoy your practice.