Get Set with a Smile

Svetlana Kogan, M.D.

April 1st is celebrated around the world as a day of laughter and humor. From the holistic standpoint: you are as happy as your thoughts and emotions are. Think about this: it all starts in the morning when you open your eyes. The first feelings you acknowledge with your analytical brain –will be the emotions with which you will live throughout that day. Emotions carry energy
and this energetic blueprint gets delivered to all of your cells and affects your cellular metabolism, immunity, and even genetic expression. This is why it is so important not to go to sleep watching violent shows or upsetting news. The fact that our brain waves slow down at bedtime, makes us an even easier prey to internalizing negative thoughts. It’s like we are hypnotically absorbing information at this point – hence all the successful TV marketing.

So let’s say you went to bed feeling trapped by some nasty current circumstances in your life. The moment you open your eyes in the morning, the worst thing you can do is to acknowledge the
dreadful sentiments from the night before. Then, the frontal cortex in your brain goes to work to justify and reinforce your sad status. “Yep, it’s the same old me” –the brain states – “and what a dreadful situation I am in!”

Let’s try to outpace your body’s predictable morning awakening reaction of preconditioned doomsday emotions. When you open your eyes in the morning, allow yourself to just think how happy and grateful you are to be awake. Immediately reinforce these positive thoughts either with a prayer or meditation or both.

Do this for about 15-30 minutes, depending on your level of comfort with mental “calisthenics”. Keep in mind that the clearer your positive intention is and the more sincere the emotion you
generate within yourself – the better your energetic signals will be perceived and processed by the matrix which runs all the living things in this universe.

I recommend that you cement the deal by walking into the bathroom and facing yourself in the mirror. The picture which you project to yourself first thing in the morning is crucial.
Configuration of your muscles is constantly being analyzed by your frontal cortex. When the brain receives information from these muscles, it processes it faster than any artificial intelligence device
in the context of the learned known facts. For example, it has been wired into your brain since early childhood that the corners of the mouth go down when the person is upset or crying or that a
person frowns when they are upset. So, the person who starts their day by wearing the same old sad facial expression – will effectively reinforce his or her own brain’s analysis of how bad things are.

This turns into a vicious cycle: the brain signals to the glands to release the hormones of stress and then of course the body reacts by developing muscular tension, elevated blood pressure, increased
heart rate and all the other corresponding features of fight or flight reaction. All of this cements the self-fulfilled prophecy: “I feel miserable!”

So, to undo the predictable old facial triggers – just stand in front of the mirror every morning and smile to yourself for about 3-4 minutes continuously. Happy facial muscle contortions will
be feeding back into your frontal cortex and will be interpreted as the confirmation of your uplifted mood. You can even give yourself a pep talk out loud, like “Let’s do this!” or even sing “We Are the Champions” or bust a couple of dance moves which get you exhilarated. These little daily efforts will yield huge Mind-Body benefits for your entire day.

Dr.Kogan is a Concierge Holistic Internal Medicine Doctor in Naples. Her website is

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