Smiling is the best medicine for the happiness of any human being, however, as we transition from childhood into adulthood, we tend to smile less and less. Did you know that we’re even born smiling?
Studies show that smiling, whether it’s real or forced, can have a positive effect on our mood, make everyone around us feel better and dramatically decrease our stress levels. When we laugh or smile, several physiological changes happen in our body, even though we mostly aren’t aware that this is happening.
Every time we smile, our brain feels incredibly happy. Why you wonder? Smiling activates the release of feel-good hormones that help fight stress and when a smile flashes across your face, you release serotonin, dopamine and endorphins into your blood stream, which relaxes your body and can even lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Here are our TOP 10 reasons that will make you want to smile more.
#1 Smiling Releases Endorphins
When we smile, the movements of our facial muscles are interpreted by our brain, which leads to the release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. While endorphins make us feel happy, they are also very helpful in lowering our stress levels. This even works when we fake a smile, as the brain doesn’t differentiate between a real or a fake smile, it only interprets the positioning of our facial muscles. However, a real smile uses a lot more muscles than a fake one, which stimulates our brain to release more of the feel-good chemicals.
#2 Smiling Lowers Stress and Anxiety
While we admit that it isn’t always easy to keep smiling when we are in a stressful situation, however, if you can manage to put a smile on your face when you are stressed out, it has tremendous health benefits. Studies show that you recover a lot quicker from a stressful situation when you smile, you lower your heart rate and reduce the levels of cortisol in your body. So the next time you feel stressed or anxious, calm yourself down with a smile.
#3 Smiling Gets Others to Trust You
From a psychological perspective, a smile makes you appear more trustworthy than a person who doesn’t show any facial expression or is frowning. A recent study revealed that the bigger your smile is, the more trustworthy you seem. So if you want to improve your credibility and make people trust you, smile more and you can easily win someone over.
#4 Smiling Boosts Your Immune System
The power of a smile can even strengthen your immune system by stimulating your body to produce white blood cells that help fight illnesses. Smiling also enhances the effectiveness of other cells, which are helpful to reduce the physical effects of stress. Additionally, smiling helps to relax your body, which helps your immune system to react more effectively and quickly against invaders.
#5 Smiling Makes You Approachable
Research proves that when you put an authentic smile on your face, you are much more approachable, you come across a lot more friendly and likable and people will leave an interaction with you feeling a lot more satisfied with the experience. Additionally, the study showed that when you show an authentic smile, people perceive you as more competent.
#6 Smiling Retrains Your Brain
Our brain is naturally inclined to think negatively as a defense and survival mechanism, however, if we get into the habit of smiling more often, we can retrain our brain and help our mind to move into a more positive space and stay there a lot longer. If smiling is part of our everyday routine, we support our brain to create happiness loops that encourage positive thinking patterns. Happiness isn’t something that just magically appears, it requires training our brain, just like an athlete has to train every single day.
#7 Smiling Makes You More Creative
We’ve seen how smiling improves our mood and releases happy-hormones into our body and this boost in mood can get our creative juices going. A recent study concluded that people who are happier improve their ability to think of more creative solution and have a much more comprehensive approach to solve problems. The conclusion has been connected to the release of dopamine triggered by your increased happiness and dopamine is involved in learning, decision making and processing.
#8 Smiling Increases Productivity
Smiling will not just boost your mood, but this extra bit of happiness can help you to be more productive as well. A recent study showed that happiness has a causal and significant effect on your productivity. Just think about it, positive emotions tend to be invigorating while negative emotions drain our energy. Want to be more productive? Put a smile on your face.
#9 Smiling Kills Pain
Smiling as well as laughter have been proven to lessen pain and the reason for this is that smiling releases endorphins that lift our mood, but at the same time endorphins are very similar to morphine and have the ability to reduce our perception of pain. So whenever you are in pain, smile, even if you don’t feel like it, watch a funny movie to make you laugh or read some jokes and the pain will slowly disappear.
#10 Smiling Is Contagious
When you see someone smiling a complex brain activity is set in motion, which makes you smile as well. Studies show that seeing another person smile activates the area of your brain that is responsible for controlling your facial movements, which leads to a smile on your own face. Even if you are in a stressful or bad situation, if you smile, others are very likely to mimic your happy face and you might be able turn things around.
A smile doesn’t just help you to express your feelings, it also works amazingly well for your health. We spend trillions of dollars every year to boost our health, however, one of the cheapest and easiest ways to boost your health, longevity, mood and even success is to smile. Science shows that your life would be a lot better, if we would smile on a regular basis and don’t forget, smiling makes you feel more confident and is incredibly infectious.
THERE IS GREAT POWER IN A SMILE, SO SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD
Joschi & Monika