You’re eating right, exercising, getting rest, all those good things that help keep you in the best of health. Have you added smiling to your health regimen? The old saying “Laughter is the best medicine” is not too far from the truth. Scientists are finding this to be true, as they study the effects that even a fake smile can have on people, both psychologically as well as physically.
Let’s see what some of those benefits are:
1 – Laughing Is Good For Your Heart
Laughter causes the inner lining of your blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow and reducing risks of heart attack and stroke. According to an article from 2009 called Laughter Prescription – “Although the evidence …. demonstrating laughter’s benefits could be stronger, virtually all studies of laughter and health indicate positive results. Similarly, there are almost no negative side effects or undesirable ramifications associated with laughter as an intervention.”
Laughter is a healthy (and fun) practice, whether or not it is a total cure for what ails you.
2 – Smiling Decreases Stress
We hear so much about stress these days. There are medicines to decrease it. Exercise to alleviate it. Lists of stress relieving foods .. vitamins … apps and so on. But some research is showing that smiling, whether it’s a real smile or a fake smile1, can aid in the reduction of stress. Imagine that, such an easy thing to do. So, when you are stressed, put on a happy face!
3 – Smiling Elevates Mood And Strengthens Your Immune System
Yes, we always associate smiling with our mood being good. But we never associate our mood being good with our smile. But, like the stress reduction research shows a fake smile can reduce stress, other research shows a fake smile can also make you happier. When you are happier, your immune system is stronger.
A smile triggers neuropeptides that improve communication between your nerves. And a smile will trigger neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which boosts your mood. A smile is free, give it a try.
4 – Smiling is contagious
When you smile, others will smile around you. Try it. Next time you are out shopping, smile at the people around you. Notice how many smile back. This is because their brain is noticing and mimicking your facial expression. It will work on you too, if you’re down, see what happens when someone smiles at you.
5 – Smiling Makes You More Attractive
In general, people don’t gather around frowning, scowling people. Most people enjoy being with others who smile, laugh and appear to enjoy life. Also, smiling is a natural face lift, because smiling lifts up the facial muscles and gives you a more youthful appearance.
And here’s an extra treat from the one and only Frank Sinatra himself, “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you…”