Tag: Mood disorders

Top Reasons to Smile Every Day

Top Reasons to Smile Every Day

Feeling down in the dumps? What if we told you there was an easy way to change the course of your day. One simple act can elevate your mood, affect the people around you, and even make you look more beautiful?

All that seems like some pretty good reason to smile, right?

So what is this one little act?


As strange as it might sound, the simple act of smiling can have a profound effect on you and the people around you. Let’s dive in and learn about all the great reasons to smile every day that are sure to put a smile on your face!

Smiling is Contagious

What if there were a way to positively affect everyone around you? With a simple act, you can lift everyone’s spirits — including yours. Wouldn’t you do it all the time?

Unfortunately, many of us don’t take full advantage of this incredible gift we have. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start now!

Put a smile on your face and watch how it affects the people around you.

Don’t believe us? Smiling is actually scientifically proven to be contagious. How does it work? The part of our brains that controls the facial muscles necessary for smiling is automatic. When you smile or laugh at a joke, you don’t have to think about making the proper facial expression. It just happens — sometimes even when you consciously try not to!

Furthermore, seeing someone else smile is a natural trigger for our own smiling reaction. We naturally and unconsciously mimic the facial expressions that we see. So, put on a smile and watch the smiles light up around you!

Say cheese text in neon lights

Smiling Makes You Feel Better

Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? It’s a psychological idea that indicates a prophecy comes true simply because we believe it. Usually, it happens because our belief about the prophecy influences our actions, which in turn influence and lead to the expected outcome.

What does this have to do with smiling?

Well, to some extent you can predict that you’ll be happy and then make it come true by choosing actions and behaviors that will make you happy.

One of the most basic is simply choosing to smile.

The act of smiling actually affects our brains, triggering the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. To some extent, smiling can actually be considered a natural antidepressant.

Furthermore, just as we were talking about in the last section, smiling is contagious. Seeing someone smile makes it easier for you to smile and helps boost your mood even more. So, find a mirror and smile at yourself. As silly as it sounds, it actually can perk up your day!

Smiling Relieves Stress

Stress can be a good thing when your body uses it to help you react appropriately to a dangerous situation or gives you that little push you need to finish up your assignment on time. Unfortunately, these days most of us are living with so much stress that it is having a negative effect on our health.

An astonishing 77% of American adults regularly experience physical symptoms as a result of the stress they feel. Chronic stress leads to a host of medical conditions and is an underlying factor in the early deaths of many Americans due to the health problems it causes.

Since we are facing such a crisis, you can easily find articles and blogs on the Internet offering all sorts of advice on how to decrease stress. Unfortunately, most of them require time to unwind, such as going for a long walk or taking a relaxing bath. This can actually cause more stress because you don’t have enough time to meet all your commitments as it is.

However, there is one simple act that doesn’t require any time and won’t take anything away from your day.

You’ve already guessed it, simply putting on a smile can help relieve stress. What’s more, you don’t even have to be genuinely happy to get some benefit (although that will help strengthen the effect). Fake smiling also helps relieve stress. Plus, fake smiles can turn into genuine smiles, further boosting your mood and relaxing your mind.

Smiling Fends off the Flu

Aside from its effect on your mental health, smiling can also affect you physically. The connection between the immune system and the central nervous system has already been discovered. Researchers have long been examining this connection as it relates to mental issues such as depression and schizophrenia.

It has also been documented that emotions can have a profound effect on the progression of serious diseases such as cancer, HIV, or cardiovascular disease. Anecdotally, you may know someone whose positive outlook seemed to have an effect on slowing the progression of a terminal illness or sending something like cancer into remission. Alternatively, you may know someone whose negative outlook provoked the opposite.

Regardless, while our emotions won’t ultimately decide whether we fully recover or succumb to a disease, they do have an effect.

A happy disposition and spending your time smiling can also boost your immune system in small ways, helping you fend off the flu.

Smiling Is Good for Your Heart

You already know that smiling is good for your figurative heart. As we’ve already discussed, the mere act of smiling can spark positive feelings which can lead to genuine happiness.

However, smiling is also measurably good for your physical heart as well. If you have a way to take your blood pressure at home, you can actually witness the effects of this yourself. Take a blood pressure reading to get a baseline. Now, spend the next minute smiling and continue to smile as you take another reading.

Aside from looking a little ridiculous, you’ll discover something amazing. After just that minute of smiling, you will register a small reduction in blood pressure. Pretty amazing!

Woman smiling in the mirror outdoor

Smiling Makes You Beautiful

The US cosmetic surgery market is worth a staggering $66.96 billion in 2021. Many people spend thousands of dollars on various treatments to look more beautiful. On top of that, the beauty industry is valued at another $40.9 billion in 2021.

Clearly, people are looking for ways to look more beautiful. However, there is one simple way that doesn’t require revolutionary new creams or going under the cosmetic surgeon’s knife.

Wear a smile.

A smile makes you more attractive to other people. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as it is often said. There is no definitive way to measure beauty.

When we look at one another, the beauty that we see is affected by how that person makes us feel as well as how they actually look. Viewing a smiling person is more pleasant and makes you feel happier, prompting you to conclude that they are more beautiful. Viewing the same person with an angry scowl or grouchy expression has the opposite effect and they appear more homely.

So, put on a happy face and forget about spending thousands on the latest cosmetic treatment out there.

Smiling Is a Natural Facelift

On top of making you look more beautiful, smiling naturally makes you look younger. Think about when you smile, what happens to your face? The muscles used to smile pull your face upward. It’s literally like a natural facelift!

Furthermore, a lifetime spent smiling will leave its mark on your face. You’ll be working the muscles that pull your face upwards daily, helping to combat the sagging effect of gravity on your face.

But, what about laugh lines, you might ask?

Well, you’re going to get wrinkles at some point. We think that a face lined with laugh lines is preferable to one marked by worry lines!

Smiling Projects Confidence

Are you up for a job interview soon? Maybe you’ll be asking for a raise soon or branching out and starting your own company. Whatever life situation you might be facing, it will benefit you if people see you as a confident (not arrogant) individual.

How do you do that? Flash them your pearly whites!

People relate a smile with confidence. There’s a reason many con men are known for their dazzling smiles. Not only does a strong smile instantly make a person more likable, but also projects confidence that they really do know what they are talking about.

Of course, we’re not advocating that you become a white-collar criminal, but illustrating the profound effect that a smile can have on how people view you.

So, the next time you want to seem more confident, beautiful, and even trustworthy, pull out your most dazzling smile and watch it go to work.

Taking a Break From It All

Sometimes we forget to focus on our mental health. We exercise to stay fit, but the less visible mental health gets pushed to the back of our minds.

However, it’s amazing the profound effect that something as simple as a smile has on our wellbeing — both mentally and physically. Try it today and watch how your world changes a little bit at a time!

Image of the blog post "What are mood disorders" on Tikvah Lake Recovery

What are mood disorders?

Mood disorders are a category of mental health illnesses where someone’s continual emotional state is considerably disturbed. It includes every kind of depressive and bipolar disorder.

More than 20 percent of adults in America will experience a mood disorder at some time in their lives. Nearly ten percent of adults in the US had a mood disorder in the past year.

Symptoms of a mood disorder can range from a very low mood (depressed) to a very high or irritable one (manic).

A variety of factors contribute to mood disorders. They often seem to run in families.

Stressful life events such as trauma, bereavement, a relationship break-up, job loss and financial problems frequently look to trigger them. Presently, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is also a major trigger.

It was pioneering psychiatrist Henry Maudsley (1835–1918) who first suggested an overall category that was named “affective disorder”. Over the years the term has been replaced by mood disorder, but it is sometimes still called affective disorder or mood affective disorder.

What are the major signs of a mood disorder?

Not knowing the symptoms of a mood disorder can mean people go untreated for longer than they should. There are several types of mood disorders, but they share some similar signs.

These signs will be more intense and persist for longer than just a normal mood change. Mood disorder symptoms can include:

  • A continual empty feeling of worthlessness.
  • Ongoing sadness, including crying (often for no obvious reason).
  • Persistent anxiety.
  • Having low self-esteem.
  • Irritability and restlessness.
  • Hostility and/or aggression.
  • Feeling a sense of isolation.
  • Concentration difficulties.
  • Problems making decisions.
  • Feeling excessively guilty.
  • Appetite changes, often leading to weight fluctuations.
  • Physical and mental fatigue.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that were once pleasurable (including sex).
  • Relationship issues with partners, but also with friends, family and colleagues.
  • Feeling hopeless and/or helpless.
  • Insomnia or sleeping more than usual.
  • Physical issues such as stomach aches, headaches, and other pains with no apparent reason. 
  • Repetitive thoughts about death.
  • Suicidal thoughts and/or attempting suicide.

These symptoms are usually continual and will negatively impact on daily life. For instance, they can lead to not being able to work as usual or making excuses not to attend social events.

What are the most common mood disorders?

There are several common types of mood disorders:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD).

Also referred to as major depression or clinical depression, MDD involves periods of extreme sadness, hopelessness, less interest in usual activities and lack of focus and energy for at least a fortnight.

  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD).

Also still known as dysthymia, this is a persistent mild depressed or irritable mood. PDD symptoms usually come and go over a period of years. Their intensity can alter over time. But most often PDD symptoms do not go away for more than two months at a time.

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Symptoms include mood swings, depressed mood, hopelessness, fatigue, irritability, palpitations, anger and anxiety in the week (sometimes two weeks) before the start of menstruation.

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Also known as “winter depression”, SAD is a mood disorder when people with normal mental health throughout most of the year develop depressive symptoms at a similar time every year, most commonly in winter.

  • Bipolar disorder.

This mood disorder is a condition in which someone has periods of depression alternating with periods of mania or elevated mood. Formerly called manic depression, mania is euphoric and/or irritable moods combined with increased energy and activity. During manic episodes, people can display overconfidence and feel like they need little sleep. They are also more likely to indulge in risky behavior – such as drinking excessively, having casual sex or spending money without care.

  • Cyclothymic disorder.

Also known as cyclothymia, this is a less intense but often longer-lasting type of bipolar disorder. A person with cyclothymic disorder has the high and low moods of bipolar – but they are not as severe. These symptoms normally need to have persisted for two years before a diagnosis is given.

  • Substance-induced mood disorder.

This is a form of depression caused by using drugs including some medications and alcohol.

  • Mood disorder related to another health condition.

Cancer, chronic illnesses, injuries and some infections can lead to symptoms of depression.

Without professional treatment, a mood disorder is unlikely to go away. More likely is that the negative feelings and negative impacts on life will intensify and last for months or years.

Our expert team has decades of experience in treating all mood disorders. We have proven successful treatments that can help anyone in need, including our 30-90 Day Personalized Treatment Program.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that focuses on becoming aware of and changing negative thoughts and behaviors for more positive ones. CBT has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of mood disorders.

Good sleep is also extremely important while being treated for a mood disorder. Disturbed sleep can be a trigger for depression and bipolar disorder.

We’re in the perfect natural setting for relaxation and wellbeing. Our luxury mansion by our stunning tranquil lake is created with total comfort in mind, including our bedrooms where you will be able to get an excellent night’s sleep.

We would love to welcome you here as a guest. To discover how Tikvah Lake Recovery can help you or someone you care about – contact us today.

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