Smiles are powerful. Not only do they generate engagement between two people, but the more someone smiles, the healthier his/her brain can be… Seriously! Smiling more often, regardless of your mood, can improve your health and even help you live longer. Check out seven health benefits of smiling below.
1. Improved Mood
Smiling releases endorphins, which helps a person feel happier and more positive. A Scientific American study found that facial expressions, such as smiling, can improve one’s mood and increase positive thoughts. So, the next time you’re feeling a little blue, try smiling – it might make you feel better!
2. Pain Relief
Believe it or not, a good laugh relieves some body aches or pains. As mentioned above, laughing also triggers the release of endorphins – the body’s natural feel-good chemical. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter actually is the best medicine, as it allows the body to produce its own natural painkillers. So, get a good laugh in, because it’s healthy!
3. Lower Blood Pressure
Heart health is very important and laughing or smiling more can help lower your blood pressure. An article, published by The College of Family Physicians, says that the act of laughter can lead to an immediate increase in heart rate and oxygen consumption, followed by a period of muscle relaxation, decreased heart rate and lower blood pressure. Even the small amount helps reduce someone’s risk of developing heart disease.
4. Stronger Immune System
Did you know that laughing or smiling helps boost your body’s immune system? Well, it does! A WebMD study states that laughter, which often starts with a smile, increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, which improves your resistance to illnesses.
5. Stress Reliever
That’s right, smiling or laughing activates and relieves your stress response. Studies where individuals had to face stressful situations while smiling were found to have lower heart rates compared to those who weren’t smiling.
6. Better Relationships
A study, completed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, found that people who smile are usually identified as being more likable, compared to those who don’t smile. If you are a “likable” person, then you also have a better chance at building and maintaining relationships with people – which benefits you and your overall well-being.
7. Younger Appearance
While you might not actually decrease in age, smiling or laughing more often can give the illusion that you look younger than you are. A Psychology and Aging study showed that when a group looked at photos of happy faces, they guessed the age of the person in the photo as younger compared to photos of the same person with a neutral or angry expression. Go ahead and smile! You’re only embracing your youthful appearance.
As you can see, smiling and laughter are very beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being! Regardless of your mood, it’s okay to crack a smile or spit out a laugh. In fact, it’s healthy for you!