Smiles: 2017 Spring/Summer Edition

Smile for Your Health
Nikki Dean, Cancer Exercise Specialist

Did you know that smiling doesn’t just make you look good, it’s also good for your health?


  • Helps the heart recover more quickly after stressful events
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Releases endorphins, working as a natural pain reliever
  • Releases serotonin, serving as an anti-depressant
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Makes you more attractive to other people
  • Is physiologically contagious

Smiling when you’re not feeling well could help you move toward the road to recovery. But, how do you find a genuine smile in the moments when you are down?

Here’s a simple exercise you can try with just a few spare minutes:

  • Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Breathe slowly into your abdomen. Feel your belly rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale.
  • Recall a moment in time when you felt true joy, happiness or love, picturing it in as much detail as possible. Shift the focus of your breath into the center of chest, the heart center as you relive this feeling.
  • Now turn up the corners of your mouth into a smile of any size, if you haven’t already naturally done so. Continue breathing slowly, imagining or feeling the smile moving all throughout your body. Try to visualize every cell in your body smiling, or having the qualities of a smile.
  • When you feel complete, take your time easing back into your day.

Smile, it’s good for you!

Nikki Dean, E-YRT 500, CES, BS teaches a free, weekly class, Yoga for Cancer Patients and Survivors, on Thursdays at 11am at the Tahoe Center for Health & Sports Performance. She is a member of Rethink Healthy Team, a service of Tahoe Forest Health System. For more information on wellness programming and services, contact 530-582-6450.

Read more about Nikki Dean, E-YRT 500, CES, BS.