We constantly update the latest research on brain processing – and what it tells us about the simple – stupid, act of smiling is worth your time.

Fact: you cannot think negative thoughts with a Echt (real) smile on your puss. Credit UCLA researchers with experiments proving the power of actively changing the muscles used on your facial expression.

There are two-kinds of smiling – you gotta know the difference.

1. Pan-Am phony smile is just using the muscles of your mouth. It was invented by an old airline (Pan-Am) for their Flight-Attendants. 76-95% of the rest of us use the Pan-Am smile.

2. Echt (real, genuine, authentic) Smile. It requires the use of the muscles of your face in two-area, mouth-and-eyes. The lateral muscles at the side of each eye is triggered by a legitimate smile.

Secret Revealed

If you choose to purposefully keep a Echt-Smile as your constant facial expression,
when you are NOT speaking, just inhaling and exhaling – here’s what happens:

You produce 10% more oxygen and glucose entering your bloodstream. So what?
You are energized for improved learning and memory, and improve grades and
test scores. Yes, really, up to 26%.

Did you know that our three-pound coconut requires 24% of the entire oxygen
your body inhales? When you exercise your brain by learning and using long-term
memory, your brain requires an additional 10% - a total of up to 34% of your oxygen supply.

To the scholars: Google the January, 2009 issue of the Journal of Personality &
Social Psychology on Facial Expressions. “Smiling helps pump blood to your…”


When you have a passive (uninvolved) facial expression, you slow down brain
processing of sensory information. Learning is tougher. Intentionally (gently)
move the muscles of your mouth (wider), and sort of squint your eyes simultaneously. That’s your Echt-Smile in action.

Keep that expression all-day and you breathe more deeply on autopilot. Each inhale and exhale you trigger Diaphragmatic breathing, and not just Pectoral (chest) breathing. So? Deep, diaphragmatic breather brings more oxygen to the lower half of your body, while Chest inhaling (96% of us) only helps the upper half.

Aha! Smiling exercises both the Pectoral muscles and the diaphragm for totally oxygenating your body and mind. Stay with me – you don’t have to consciously
operate your breathing – it is on autopilot when you activate Echt-Smiling.


“Feedback from your face affects your emotional expression, MOOD, and behaviors.” D.A. Bernstein, Psychology. When you playfully make an Angry expression, it affects your internal sense of well-being by exciting your Amygdala, the emotional operating structure of your brain.

What about the opposite, making a funny face? It activates your pleasure centers.

But when you keep an Echt-Smile some-of-the-time – start with typing on your word-processor, and surfing the Net – you are helping your Nervous and Immune Systems improve their level of effectiveness.

How about Chronic Stress

We are not making up this research – it uses fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance
Imagery) and shows that a long-term Echt-Smile reduces distress, anxiety, and panic attacks. Stress turn your mood negative, and reduces your ability to learn
and remember up to 45%. Yeah, that much.

How about blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration? Echt-Smiling (your mouth and lateral eye muscles) significantly optimizes your key body functions. How about lowering blood pressure 10-18%?


Your body produces painkillers without side-effects like medicinal drugs. Echt-Smiling activates Endorphins (Opioids), the name comes from Greek, Endogenous (internal), plus Morphine – Endo+phin.

But wait! there is more. Smiling triggers Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls and reduces Fear-And-Worry.

In case you have a need to know, Endorphins are produced by your Pituitary gland and Hypothalamus and are Analgesics (pain killers). They operate in your Central
Nervous System and Gastrointestinal Tract.

Your best friend is your Echt-Smile, and it is your choice (volition) whether you
active it most of the day or no. I like the word – Active. It comes from Latin, meaning, to do; something done. You must decide to activate your Echt-Smile.

The enemy (Negative word) is Passive – which comes Latin meaning submissive; to undergo.

In-between Active and Passive is Boring – which is the dullness that takes the life from your day. Consider the new tool you have for health and longevity.

Would you be better off having a competitive edge in school and career? What if you can read-and-remember three (3) books, articles and reports, in the time your
peers can hardly finish one? More promotions? Ask us how.

Speed Reading is your killer tool for success.

See ya,

copyright © 2009 H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's. Business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of Speed Reading, graduating 2 million, including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents.