How many times do we smile a day? And not just the mandatory customer service smile we have to pull off during work hours, but the genuine, happy smile that can instantly improve our moods.
Smiles are free and contagious, but sometimes those aren’t enough reasons to show those pearly whites. When we transition from children to adults, we often tend to lose the habit of indulging in the little things that bring us joy. We let in the stress of modern life bring us down and we forget just how good it can feel to crack a grin. Well, not only does smiling make you feel emotionally good, it can also bring great benefits to your overall physical and mental health:
It Reduces Stress
Smiling activates the release of “feel good” messengers that work towards fighting stress. Dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are all released into your bloodstream, helping your body relax while simultaneously lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. When we smile our system recognizes that there’s an absence of threat, and it relaxes us by slowing down the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
It Can Strengthen Your Body’s Cells
Just as smiling can help rid the body of stress, so can it release tension on a cellular level. A person’s thoughts have a direct impact on cellular function. When we smile we can reduce the rigidness of our cells, and this physical relaxation can help combat cell mutations that can lead to the development or persistence of various cancers.
According to recent research, the more you smile, the longer you’re likely to live. Since smiling can reduce the risks of high blood pressure, high stress levels, and depression, the probability of a longer life increases. Indulge in happiness, people!
It Boosts Your Immune System
The weakening of the immune system can be attributed to many things: stress, depression, or anger. The act of smiling pushes back against all of these factors, while having a direct and positive impact on the brain and the neurochemicals that work towards a better immunological balance.
It Improves Your Mood
Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue, and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. Recent research found that making yourself smile when you’re feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts. Smiling also releases serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that can positively affect your mood.
Although it may seem hard to smile at times, doing so, even if just for a moment, can bring you positivity and benefits into your life.