SpeakUp Newsletter - February 2018

Spreading The Message

by Grace Gallagher, Executive Director 


Did you know that smiling can temporarily reduce blood pressure? When you smile, dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are released into your blood, which causes your body to relax and your heart rate to lower. Smile! It’s good for your health!  

Research also shows that even if you have to fake a smile, you will still reap the health benefits. I decided to test this theory on myself. I was halfway through the marathon of IronMan Chattanooga. My body hurt, my tank was empty, and there was yet another hill in my path. I wanted to cry; I am pretty sure I did. Then I remembered reading about the power a smile can give you both physically and mentally. I somehow managed the fakest smile I could conjure up (I am certain I looked like the Joker from Batman). And you know what? It worked. I somehow made it up the hill when everything in my body screamed no. I also started to notice all the people out there cheering us on. Encouraging me, believing in me, and I was grateful. My physical body still hurt, but I was mentally strong and determined and so very grateful. I believe that smile I worked really hard to form strengthened my muscles, my brain, and my heart. 

I ask all of you to share your smiles with every person you come in contact with. Share it freely and without judgment or expectations. Just smile; its power is quite bright! 

To read more of the February 2018 newsletter, click here 



Rebecca Shigley