Dear Kosterina Family, How are you doing? I’m feeling a little burst of positivity this week as things are slowly starting to feel a bit more normal. We have seen a few more friends and family members (from afar) and the local Starbucks in my town re-opened this week (major development). And generally, I’m a little less nervous about going to the pharmacy and the supermarket. But as I've been moving about in public a bit more I've had a lot more interactions with strangers while wearing a mask. And, it's made me think about how we treat each other in this new world.
The masks are hot and annoying but what I dislike most about them is that I can’t smile at people.
Apparently, something as simple as smiling has profound benefits on our own personal well-being, and the health of our communities. According to recent psychological research, smiling triggers hormones in our brain that help us feel happier, less stressed and ultimately, live longer lives. Smiling activates our feel-good neurotransmitters - dopamine, endorphins and serotonin - which triggers our bodies to relax, lift our moods and even decreases our blood pressure. Some research even says that one smile can simulate the same level of pleasure as eating 2,000 bars of chocolate. (Not sure I believe that one).
And when we see another human being smile, it actually is contagious. We literally can't help but smile back at another person when they smile at us. Our brains are actually looking out for us to feel good and live longer.
So we’re going to have to grin a bit extra wide beneath that mask so people know we’re smiling under there. We need smiles so big that they reach our eyes to share happiness with those around us.
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Peace, love & EVOO, Katerina
Olive Oil Sommelier Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina Olive Oil, which produces 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil from Greece sold directly to consumers online. Katerina is an ecommerce expert and has built beauty, home and wellness businesses for Amazon, Jet, and Walmart. She founded beauty services company, Manicube, which was sold to The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden in 2015. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean diet and eating for health and longevity.
This time of year, there's always a lot of pressure to implement quick-fixes around our health to reach certain goals. But, my purpose in starting Kosterina was always to help more people create accessible, healthy habits for themselves and their families over the long-term.
We've been spending more time at home than ever this year because of the pandemic, and because of that many of us have been engaging in old pastimes like playing board games or even making crafts. But, none of those activities beat how much we've been experimenting with cooking at home over the past 8 months.