When we smile the brain releases a wave of dopamine, endorphin and serotonin, also called the “feel good” neurotransmitters. This release causes our muscles to relax and our blood pressure to drop making us feel happier and more relaxed. Here is a breathing exercise to remind us to smile! Inspired by Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh.
- Take a deep breath into your belly; as you do so silently say to yourself, “Breathing in, I calm body and mind.”
- Release the breath slowly while silently saying, “Breathing out, I smile.”
Repeat the breaths as many times as feels right to you. When you have completed your breaths before you move back into your life silently say to yourself and take a moment to understand that, “Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment”.