As I was running along the Trolley Trail during the last 2 miles of a 10 mile run, I reached a point where I didn't feel so good. The old hip was screaming, the calf was complaining and I felt overall fatigued. And that's when it happened, I came across something that made me smile. And suddenly I felt amazing. No aches, no pains and no fatigue!
I did a little digging and found a scientific reason for this phenomenon. Smiling releases pleasure hormones called endorphins, natural painkillers and antidepressant hormones such as serotonin. It also helps decrease stress.
So next time you are feeling not so good during a run (or any time actually)...try a SMILE. It works like magic! Maybe this is why running with friends is better - they can make you smile on a run.
Seaward BL. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett; 2009:258
R.D. (2000). Neural correlates of conscious emotional experience. In R.D. Lane & L. Nadel (Eds.), Cognitive neuroscience of emotion (pp. 345–370). New York: Oxford University Press.