We’ve all heard the famous phrase laughter is the best medicine, but did you know they’re truly are genuine health benefits associated with merely smiling more?
It’s amazing what receiving a genuine smile can do for the mood. Something as simple as putting a smile on someone’s face can help reduce anxiety and release endorphins.
Continue reading for 5 specific health benefits you can receive just by putting a smile on your face.
The act of smiling releases a cocktail of feel-good chemicals in your brain. This activates the neural network that benefits the feeling of happiness. A smile is quite literally nature’s antidepressant.
The feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin get released upon smiling and these transmitters are what boost your mood. Even if you’re not feeling happy, try looking in the mirror and smiling. The act alone tricks your brain into releasing these neurotransmitters, setting off that wave of happiness.
Relieves Anxiety and Stress
Smiling can also release neuropeptides which are tiny molecules that function primarily to fight off stress. These neuropeptides allow the neurons in your brain to communicate, sending messages within your body whether that is sadness, anxiousness, or in this case, happiness.
Less stress can mean less anxiety and vice versa. A simple smile can help your body send out those messages of happiness, helping with stress relief and thus helping to relieve those feelings of anxiousness.
While smiling has a direct effect on increasing your mood, it also helps aid in an extended lifespan.
Constant stress raises a body’s level of cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol not only weaken our immune systems in general, but prolonged stress levels put us at risk for diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
By smiling more, we can reduce the effects of cortisol on our system and in turn increase our general lifespan.
Healthy Immune System
If chronic stress weakens our immune systems, think of smiling as a sort of chemical helper to build it back up. As mentioned above, cortisol plays a big part in the effectiveness of our immune system.
When we smile more, we’re essentially giving a boost to our neurotransmitters, signaling to our brain it’s okay to relax. In fact, there is an entire area of study called psychoneuroimmunology dedicated to the connection between the immune systems and nervous systems.
It’s a well-known fact that we are naturally drawn to a smiling person. It’s an involuntary response that makes us want to smile back. Positive facial expressions, like a smile, can generally make you seem more youthful and approachable.
It is much easier to approach someone who is smiling, and the brain’s reward centers light up when viewing a smiling face.
Straight teeth can play a big part in hiding a smile. If you’ve ever been curious how to go about perfecting your smile, click to learn more here.
Keys to Smiling More
The benefits of smiling more are numerous, and having the confidence to smile more can quite literally boost your mood, making life feel a little bit lighter.
Nothing is quite as contagious as a smile, and surrounding yourself with people who make you smile often is optimal for a healthy, long-lived life.
If you’re interested in additional ways to optimize your health, be sure to check out our Health section for more articles that can help.