Well, Smiling is Good For You!
Trillions of dollars are spend every year in the US alone to boost health. But what if you could improve your health for free? One of the easiest and cheapest ways to boost your health is to smile. But smiling goes beyond just good health. Smiling can have positive effects on your mood, your longevity, and success!
But did you know that smiles have not always been in style? Social smiles were not common until after the start of the 1900’s, and even then, smiling was thought to be silly. Lucky for us, the smile has become far more commonplace, because there are few things that can brighten your day like a genuine smile.
Smiling is just plain good for you, and for those around you. Smiling makes life better. Here’s how:
Smiling Can Help You Live Longer
The effects of a good smile go beyond good looks. People who smile more often live longer…about 7 years longer than most. It releases stress, helps the heart, and much more to keep you healthy longer. A study reviewing photographs and statistics of major league baseball players during the 1950’s and beyond showed that players who smiled more and exhibited more positive emotions actually lived longer, happier, and more stable lives.
Smiling is Good for Your Heart
A study asking participants to perform stressful tasks (some while smiling and others while holding a straight face), showed that the smiling subjects’ heart rate recovered more quickly from the stress. Stress can take a toll on the human body, raising blood pressure and making the heart work harder. Smiling slows the heart, relaxes the body, and temporarily reduces blood pressure. People who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease.
Smiling and Laughter can Kill Pain
Smiling and laughter both have been shown to lessen pain. They release endorphins, those feel-good chemicals that the brain releases that help diminish pain, and trigger positive feelings. A series of experiments revealed that people who smiled and laughed experienced less pain than those who did not laugh and smile.
Smiling Can Put You in a Better Mood
Endorphins do more than just kill pain. Endorphins lift your mood. Feeling down? Put a smile on your face…even if it isn’t a real smile. Most of us assume people smile because they are happy. But did you know that smiling can actually make you happy? When you smile (even a fake smile), the muscles in your face move; and that muscle movement changes the temperature and amount of blood flow to your brain, which can cause positive changes in your feelings and mood!
Smiling Makes You Look Younger
Smiles naturally lift the face, making your cheeks rounder and your skin more taut. Studies have shown that smiling makes people look younger…around 3 years younger on average. But who needs a study to prove this fact? Go find a mirror and say cheese!
Smiling Can Help Your Career and Earning Potential
Facial expressions play a role in and have an impact on first and future impressions. People who smile often are more likely to be remembered and recognized in the future. When you smile, you’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed, and sincere. A smile makes you appear confident, self-assured, and on top of your work. Those who smile are more likely to earn more money through tips and raises, and are more readily approached with business ideas and offered advancements. And if that’s not enough, smiling has also been shown to increase productivity while performing tasks.
Smiling Gives Your Immune System a Boost
The human body heals and recovers more quickly when it is at rest. A study of hospitalized children showed that those children who spent more time laughing and smiling showed signs of recovery more quickly than those who didn’t. Their immune response changed during visits of the Smiling Hospital Foundation’s Artists, a group of storytellers, puppeteers and handicraft artists. It seems that happiness helps healing…laughter really is the best medicine!
Smiling is Contagious
Have you noticed that if someone gives you a warm smile, it’s pretty hard not to smile back? Our brains are hard-wired to reflect the mood and emotions of those around us. In a Swedish study, subjects were shown pictures of several emotions: joy, anger, fear, and surprise. When the picture of someone smiling was presented, the researchers asked the subjects to frown. Instead, they found that the facial expressions went directly to imitate what the subjects saw. It took conscious effort to frown. So if you’re smiling at someone, it’s likely they can’t help but smile back.
Are you smiling yet? Go on! Get out there and make the world smile back!