Feeling good usually makes us smile, but does it work the other way around? Can smiling actually make us feel better?
Believe it or not, smiling does actually provide a number of health benefits, both physical and psychological. According to recent research, flashing your pearly whites may help you look younger, feel happier, have healthier relationships, and more.
Its TRUE! “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh. Heres a look at all of the health benefits of smiling:
Benefits of Smiling:
- Instant Mood Booster: Having a rough day and don’t feel like smiling? Fake it until you make it. According to a number of studies, simply making the effort to grin (and bear it!) can improve your mood instantly. “Emotions are felt through the whole body, not just in the brain,” explains researcher Michael Lewis, PhD, of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. So when you smile your body responds by feeling happier emotions. Next time you are feeling down, put on a smile – there’s a good chance you mood will change for the better.
- The Fountain of Youth: Forget expensive wrinkle creams – smiling may be the only anti-aging prescription you need. During a recent study published in the journal Psychology and Aging, researchers asked participants to guess the age of adult strangers in photographs. The results? The judges consistently underestimated the age of the photographed people who were wearing happy expressions; however, they were more likely to guess age correctly if the person wore a neutral expression. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger, happier, and more vibrant.
- Positive Addiction: Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug and free of charge!
- Secret to Success: research has found that happy, smiling people may thrive better in the workplace and in relationships. Okay, okay — but these people are probably in high spirits because of their success, right? Contrary to intuition, a number of studies show that happiness often precedes success — meaning the participants were more likely to be successful because of their happy demeanor. And it starts young: A study from DePauw University found that big-grinned kids had lower divorce rates later in life. Which actually makes sense because smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.
- A Statement Piece: No one forgets a gorgeous grin. Smile when you meet others and you will make a lasting impression.
- Smiling Is Contagious: A simple smile has the power to light up the room, changing the moods of other and making the enviornment happier. Think about it: When someone beams at you on the street, you almost always smile back (even if subconsciously). In an issue of the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, experts explain that our brains look for and respond to smiling faces — likely before we are even aware of our response. Smile a lot and you will be contagious!
- Happy face = Health Benefits: Smiling actually lowers your blood pressure AND boots your immune system. When you smile it lowers your stress-hormone levels, which helps you maintain a strong immune system, a healthier heart, and improves your psychological coping mechanisms to life’s challenges.
- Stress reducer: Smiling is the most natural and easy way to relieve stress. When you feel that stress is taking over, it is time to take one or two minutes and smile. Find something positive or funny (picture, video or some good memories from the past) and let yourself go – smile and laugh. In a couple of minutes you will feel less stressed and ready to go on.
Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. As evidenced above, the simple act of smiling benefits your health, happiness, and has the power to transform you and the world around you. Current research (and common sense) shows us that a smile is contagious, it can make us appear more attractive to others, it lifts our mood as well as the moods of those around us, and it can even lengthen our lives.
We can’t always control what happens to us, but I am 100% confident that gracing your face with a grin can seriously change your internal and external experience. Your smile is something that should be worn often, so make it a priority to surround yourself with people, places and things that brighten your day. Vow to be the positive, happy person in your group of friends. Laugh often, connect with others, and live in health. Trust me on this one, the world is simply a better place when you smile.
“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
~ Mother Teresa