4 Health Benefits of Smiling
It doesn't matter if you call it a smile, grin, beam, smile or smirk. But, you can't deny the positive feelings that this happy expression brings. We were born with the ability smile. However, as we age, our smiles decrease.
Research has shown that children smile on average 400 times per days, compared with the 40-50 smiles of an average-aged adult and only 20 smiles per older adult.
Why is smiling so important? Smiles can boost your mood and help you release endorphins and cortisol, which have many health benefits.
1. Improve Your Mood and Self-Esteem
A smile can positively impact your mood and self-esteem in a number of ways. Research shows that smiling can change your brain chemistry, releasing endorphins that trigger positive feelings. This can help lift your mood and help you combat feelings of sadness or dissatisfaction. Smiling is also a great way to boost your self-esteem. When we smile, we send a message to ourselves and others that we are happy with our lives, ourselves, and the world around us. This can help improve your overall outlook and strengthen your confidence.
2. Lower Your Blood Pressure
When you’re stressed or feeling anxious, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This can put a lot of stress on your body including your blood pressure, which can make you more susceptible to illnesses like high blood pressure. A smile is a great way to combat your blood pressure rising too high when you’re feeling stressed. The release of the hormone that makes you smile also helps to lower your blood pressure. This will help you stay healthier, allowing you to reduce the amount of medication you may need or even stop taking medication all together, which can save you money in the long run!
3. Relieve Stress
Stress is a modern epidemic and there are few easy solutions to combat it. Smiling is one of the easiest and quickest ways to relieve stress in your body. A smile has been proven to reduce the amount of cortisol in your system, helping to lower your heart rate and reduce muscle tension. A happy smile can also be contagious, so smile at another person and they may smile back, helping both of you reduce stress in your lives.
4. Help Combat Depression and Anxiety
As we mentioned above, smiling releases endorphins that can help lift your mood and combat feelings of depression and anxiety. This is a great way to help yourself or a loved one who may be struggling with these mental health issues. A smile can also help you show the world that you are confident and happy, and that can help you build a support system and connect with others who may be going through similar issues.
Studies show that smiling people are more approachable, friendly, and competent. Smilers are more productive at work, and they make more money.
These benefits will help you increase your smile rate. Start your day by smiling. Smiles are contagious; especially a bright white smile. When we smile, we activate neurons in our brain that trigger a synchronizing feature. One smile can lead to many smiles, not only for you but also for others around you.
Your brain releases neuropeptides when you smile. These molecules help to combat stress. Other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, along with endorphins, also play a role. Serotonin acts as an antidepressant and endorphins are mild pain relievers. One study suggests that smiling may help you recover quicker from stress and lower your heart rate. It might be worthwhile to try smiling and see what happens. Some studies have shown that smiling can boost your mood and happiness. Talk to your doctor immediately if you are suffering from anxiety or depression.
The benefits of smiling don't only apply to you but also to those around you. While we have already discussed how our brains respond to smiling, we also get rewarded when someone smiles at us. Our brain activates the reward center, which makes us feel better. One Swedish study shows that our brains can't help but smile when we see someone smiling - so it's an infectious loop of happiness.
Put Your New Skills to the Test
Now that you know how beneficial smiling can be, why don’t you put those skills to the test? There are lots of ways you can smile more in your daily life. You can start by smiling at strangers – a smile is an easy way to make someone else’s day and make them feel happier! You can also smile when you’re in a stressful situation or feeling down. It may not feel natural at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. Start by making a conscious effort to smile more. Put a reminder in your calendar or have it as your phone background to help you remember. Once you become more aware of your smile, you can start to practice smiling more genuinely. And before you know it, smiling will be second nature to you, and you’ll feel happier and healthier because of it!