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Smile! You’ll feel Better
By Marjorie Ingall        

         As the song says, smiling when you' re feeling blue appears to put you in a rosy mood. At least that's the theory set forth by Robert B. Zajonc, Ph.D.,director of the lnstitute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. 

          When you smile, two things happen: You breathe through your nose, and you exert pressure on the veins in your face. Both of these activitie reslut in cooler blood entering the region of the brain known as the hypothalamus -which, Zajonc believes, causes the release of chemicals that can suppress pain and/or help you feel better. When you breathe through your nose, you bring cool air into your nasal passages, which cools the veins and the blood flowing through them. And when you use the "smile muscles" at the corners of your mouth, you change 

smile

 

the direction of the blood flow inside your face in such a way that it causes the temperature of the blood to drop.

         Cooling the blood may also inhibit the release of serotonin, thought to be related to depression, and promote the release of endorphins, which suppress pain and give you a lift.

         All this may be one reason we enjoy kissing so much. Notes Zajonc, "When you kiss, you have to breathe through your nose, because your mouth is otherwise occupied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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