Why Resiliency Decides If You Get H1N1 Flu And Survive

Yaacov Stern, professor at Columbia University Medical Center offers research
that even though the brain has amyloidal plaques and neurofibrillary tangles –
signs of Alzheimer, patients with Cognitive Reserve will survive and thrive.

Resiliency is a characteristic of folks who bounce back from disease, depression
and chronic stress to enjoy life and its pleasures. No resiliency, chronic disability.
We suggest, based on the latest neuroscientific research, you program yourself
for resiliency and cognitive reserve.


Cognitive Reserve is a reward for being a lifelong learner. If you read daily, use
your brain to master new skills, and use the Internet to explore new ideas, you
are developing and warehousing your Cognitive Reserve.

Teach others what you know and socialize with those who live in a positive state of
mind. These ideas are proven scientific principles, not Pollyanna.
Google: the Nuns Study Research, David Snowdon, University of Kentucky.

Positive Emotions

It sounds like make-believe, but the more episodes of laughing, pleasant surprises
and enjoyment of small successes and achievements, the more Benign (good)
your health, and less Malignant (bad) your infections and inflammations.

I hate Pollyanna and her unreasonably optimistic promises of success and recovery.
Fact: Positive Emotions play a critical role in both health and longevity.
Wanna live without contacting H1N1 and its consequences?

Yes, to taking the vaccine, and another Yes to discovering daily reasons to Smile, Laugh and celebrate life and good times. Who says so?

Google: University of Kansas and the Gallup World Poll, professor Sarah Pressman, March 4, 2009.

Facial Expressions

Is nodding (up-and-down) or shaking your head (side-to-side), a facial expression?

Sure, and you use five (5) facial muscles to reflect the standard Emotions of
Anger-Happiness-Surprise-Fear-Sadness-Disgust. Repeat the Big Six again.
Anger, happiness, etc.

Did you know that your face is Asymmetrical – unequal? Add, that your Left
side is more Expressive, and evidences more emotion. If you want to know how
your ideas are registering on someone you are trying to influence, persuade and
convince, check out his/her facial left side.

Social Bonding vs. Social Distancing

When you engage someone in communication and smile, nod or shake your head,
laughing, and make eye contact, that is social bonding. When you smile, you
trigger the Mirror Neurons in their brain for empathy, and they instinctually
smile back, nod their head, and look you straight in the eye.

There is persuasion, influence, and the power to convince in these examples of
non-verbal communication. Disengagement causes Social Distancing. When our
ancestors left old grandma to die on the side of the mountain, they were distancing
themselves, right? We are civilized and park her in a Nursing Home.

Today disengagement is not looking the other person in the eye, doodling, not
paying attention, and fidgeting with personal objects. Lack of communication is
instigated by a lack of concentration. Check either Impatience or Laziness.

So What

Humans, unlike our primate cousins the Chimps, have the ability to
change and improve our use of facial emotions. Get this: Negative emotions in
humans cause our mouth to shut in order to inhibit (prevent) yelling, biting and speaking insults. This instinct ends the cycle of aggression.

Chimps have no control over their aggression instinct and negative emotions. They do not cooperate; they too busy competing. Homo sapiens have created civilization because they have speech and non-verbal facial expressions to communicate for cooperation (team work).

It is the Law of Reciprocity because working together has a mutual payoff.

Powerful Knowledge

Our facial expressions communicate our state-of-mind and mood.
It is bilateral – others see our face and draw the correct inferences
95% of the time. One other thing – we become aware of our facial expressions
and reinforce our feelings with behavior to match it.

We receive a message (internal dialogue) that reports – I am smiling so I must be
happy, and getting happier. Who you going to believe if not your own brain?

Charlie Darwin in 1871 wrote: the free expression by outward signs of an emotion, intensifies it. Researchers recently discovered that facial expressions of emotions
are Hardwired (genetic) in our brain.

Professor William James at Harvard Medical School in 1900 said, if you do not
express an emotion (physically) – you have not felt it all. Our emotions involve
more than just the brain (Limbic System) our face plays a big role in emotional


The cosmetic use of Botox has interesting side effects. It paralyzes certain facial
muscles. People who cannot FROWN are happier than those who find negative
experience to frown about. Journal of Pain, May 2008 Michael Lewis, U of Cardiff.

When we activate the frowning facial muscles during an unpleasant experience
(medical emergency) there is an increase in felt pain.

Recommendation: practice both Social (fake) and Duchenne (genuine) smiling.
Fake it till you make it really works. A half-minute twice-a-day of practicing
social smiling triggers a neural network of genuine smiling skills.

Over ten years we have recommended the Smiling Ritual to students and executives to improve personal (relationships) and their financial (career) advancement. Over 85% report personally measurable success and continue the rite as a brain exercise.


Would you have a serious competitive advantage over your peers by reading and
remembering three (3) books, articles and reports compared to their ability to
recall only one?

Email us for a free report.

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: