In this fast paced world, we often drive ourselves too hard, forget to take time out for ourselves and can become depressed. Did you know that the simple act of smiling can actually help lift feelings of depression. As a test, try standing in front of a mirror and smiling at yourself for 8 minutes. The effect will surprise you. Scientific evidence demonstrates that the facial changes involved in smiling have direct effects on chemical changes in the left frontal cortex of the brain associated with happiness. Researchers found that even when people mimicked a smile, or were not aware that they were smiling, endorphins were released that slowed down the heart rate and reduced stress. In addition, they discovered that people who smile have a real positive effect on others. In this case, mirror neurons fire in the brain and evoke a similar neural response as if the observer was smiling himself. So take time out to relax, and smile. Let this mind-body connection nourish you and the people around you.