TLC Blog

#savethosesmiles – Part 2 – Strategies for good mental health

by Nina Jackson on May 3, 2016

I recently wrote a blog on Simple steps to save those smiles – Part 1.

Research suggests that smiling can have an overwhelming impact on our mental and emotional health. Smiling creates a pathway of great health and happiness which activates neural messages in our brains. The act of smiling releases neuropeptides that work hard to combat and fight off stress. (1)

Some research even suggests it can help us live longer. (2)  I am definitely wearing more smiles every day!

Want to feel great? Fancy throwing a feel-good factor party in your brain, then get those smiles on. Those neuropeptides I mentioned earlier are tiny molecules that empower neurons to communicate. The amazing dopamine, endorphins and seretonin are all released as the feel-good factor ingredients when we plaster a smile across our face. It helps to relax our bodies and also supports lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. (3)

Let’s not forget that smiling is also contagious. It happens as an unconscious automatic response which is all part of the cingulate cortex. (4) We can get some free mind medicine too without the side effects of using chemical drugs when these endorphins are released. They are a natural pain killer and serve as an anti-depressant/mood lifter. Please note: there are different levels of depression and this is with reference to mild, manageable depressive moods. (5)

So, in support of us all having some feel-good factor moments and getting some more or extra smiles on our faces, here are some amazing people smiling, some of whom responded to the #savethosesmiles request on twitter and others who allowed access to their photos. See what your reaction is when you see others smiling.

Recently, I was honoured to be a VIP Guest amongst other great educationalists at the EOS 2016 Conference – ‘Teach Like a Pirate’. We smiled and laughed a lot. There must have been some serious brain busting neuro parties going on that night.

And to top things off, if you want to have a proper giggle and get those smiles on, then hop over to the app store and pick up Gigglebug’s Face Race (it’s FREE) and get some serious smiles and giggles on by following the Gigglebug’s facial expression. Here are some great ones.

So, #savethosesmiles everyone as it’s good for our mental and emotional health. If you’d like to send me your #savethosesmiles for future galleries of fun, giggles and free mind medicine then please get in touch.

Super smiles



  1. Primitive emotional contagion. Hatfield, Elaine; Cacioppo, John T.; Rapson, Richard L. Clark, Margaret S. (Ed), (1992). Emotion and social behaviour. Review of personality and social psychology, Vol. 14., (pp. 151-177). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc, xi, 311 pp.

  2. Abel E. and Kruger M. (2010) Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity, Psychological Science, 21, 542–544.

  3. Seaward BL. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett; 2009:258

  4. O’Doherty, J., Winston, J., Critchley, H. Perrett, D., Burt, D.M., and Dolan R.J., (2003) Beauty in a smile: the role of medial orbitofrontal cortex in facial attractiveness. Neuropsychologia, 41, 147–155.

  5. Karren KJ, et al. Mind/Body Health: The Effect of Attitudes, Emotions and Relationships. New York, N.Y.: Benjamin Cummings, 2010:461.

Nina Jackson#savethosesmiles – Part 2 – Strategies for good mental health

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