Why smile? To be happy!
Smiling is one of the most effective ways to improve health, longevity and quality of life. A smile is contagious - just seeing someone else smile makes you want to do the same. And when your mood improves, it's easier to be more productive and happy.
What Are The Top-5 Health Benefits of Smiling?
- Smiling boosts your mood and energy levels.
- Smiling can improve heart health and lower blood pressure.
- Smiling can help you live longer.
- Smiling relieves stress.
- Smiling can boost your immune system.
Smiling Can Boost Your Mood
Are You a Smiler or a Frowner? The mind/body connection is real. The simple act of smiling is scientifically-proven to boost your mood and energy levels by releasing endorphins.
The next time you catch yourself feeling down, put on a smile. Sometimes when your mood is souring, it can be as easy as changing the expression on your face. A smile actually activates pathways in your brain that influence emotional state. By adopting a happy facial expression, whether or not it is real, you can "trick" your mind and enter a true state of happiness.
A simple smile can trigger the release of neuropeptides that improve your neural communication, as well as neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which can boost your mood. Think of smiling like a natural antidepressant.
Try this smile test right now and see if it brings up any feelings.
Smiling Can Improve Heart Health
Smiling could have a beneficial impact on your blood pressure. Studies show that, while laughter can lead to an immediate increase in heart rate, it also increases oxygen consumption. After you laugh your muscles relax, your heart rate decreases and your blood pressure is lowered. Just think, laughing, and smiling can help decrease your chances of heart disease.
You can try testing this idea for yourself if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes and take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
Smiling Can Boost Your Longevity
A 2010 study found that people who smile more often tend to live longer lives. Think about that! Perhaps the most compelling reason to smile is that it may lengthen your overall lifespan.
Overall, happy people seem to enjoy better health and longevity. Research suggests that happiness could increase lifespan by years—suggesting maintaining a happy, positive mood may be an important part of living a healthy lifestyle.
Smiling Relieves Stress
Smiling not only helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed but it can also help reduce stress. When you are smiling or happy, your body produces endorphins (your body’s natural, feel-good chemical) which lowers the amount of cortisol (stress hormones).
When you are stressed, take the time to put on a smile. You and those around you will reap the benefits. Believe it or not, this trick works even if you don't feel like smiling or even if you fake it with a smile that isn't genuine.
Smiling Boosts Your Immune System
Smiling can also boost your overall health by helping your immune system to function more effectively. It is thought that when you smile, immune function improves because you are more relaxed (thanks to the release of certain neurotransmitters).
Whether you're trying to maintain your overall health or strengthen your immune system ahead of cold and flu season, smiling may help.