Top 7 Health Benefits Of Smiling
The old saying says that laughter is the best medicine. It turns out that smiling, and better yet, laughing could be all you really need to give your overall health an extra boost. And this time, it’s not just an old saying. The conclusions are supported by science!
Just in case you needed them, here are seven of the best possible reasons to smile!
1. Smiling Keeps the Blues Away
This might seem a little strange on the surface, but researchers found that even forced smiles could help people who are experiencing sad or negative thoughts. Just moving your facial muscles into a smile makes you feel better, so if you ever need to grin and bear something, a real-life grin could make you feel better about it!
2. Reduce Heart Rate – and Maybe Even Blood Pressure
CBS News reports on a fun study on smiling that was conducted at the University of Kansas. Real smile, fake smile, and no-smile groups were given stressful tasks to complete. Even the fake smile group fared better than the no smile group when it came to heart rate and blood pressure measurements.
3. Get Along Better with Other People
While we’re talking about stress, few things can be more stressful than tense relationships with other people. When you smile, people are naturally drawn to you. Their positive attitude towards you helps to smooth the social or business interaction. In this instance it would be impossible to assemble a list of all the studies that support it. There are simply way too many!
4. Give Your Immune System a Boost
An upbeat mood and a cheerful smile don’t just make you and those around you feel good. It even boosts your body’s ability to fight off infection. The real work on this benefit of smiling really has to do with full laughter, not just a happy smile, but once you’re smiling, laughter isn’t very far away! So, go ahead and smile, grin and laugh. It can’t harm you and it can do you whole lot of good!
5. Reduce Pain
Laughing with someone else can help to reduce pain. Studies have found that laughing actually increases your pain threshold. The scientific theory is that laughing makes your body release endorphins, and that endorphins have an opiate-like effect on pain. If you’d like to read the full study (which should make you smile), you’ll find the full version of the paper available online.
6. Smiling Might Make You Live Longer
When researchers tracked down the people whose photos appeared in a 1952 baseball register, they looked at mortality dates and compared them to smile intensity. People whose photographs featured a real Duchenne smile – the smile that involves the eyes as well as the mouth – were more inclined to live long lives than those who didn’t.
7. Smiling Gives Others a Chance to Smile Back
About 50 percent of people will smile back at you when you smile at them. That means you get to share all the health benefits of smiling with someone else. So, catch someone else’s eye and smile! It’ll brighten the day for both of you – and it’s a public health service of sorts too!
Not Happy With Your Smile?
Now for a sad fact. About one third of people aren’t happy with their smiles. It’s not that they don’t want to smile, but they feel self-conscious about their teeth and, as a result, are reluctant to give the world their biggest smiles.