Smile More – It’s Good For You – Literally

Marcelo Oleas smiling

With age comes more responsibility, and with more responsibility sometimes comes more stress. We often get soo caught up in our daily hustle that we forget the very simple things in life; such as the power of our smile. Our smile does not only help us look good, but it also has been well documented to have numerous health benefits. If it is something that takes us no time and does not cost us anything, why are we not doing it more often? Maybe after you read some of these amazing benefits, you will be more eager to put that beautiful smile more on your face!

1. Reducing Stress

Smiling releases tiny signaling molecules in our brain called neuropeptides. The specific neurotransmitters that are affected when we smile are endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Whether it is a real smile or a fake smile, our brain does not know how to differentiate the two. Our brain only knows that when certain muscles in our face move in a specific manner, it has to release these chemicals (known as facial feedback hypothesis). So in those moments of stress, put a smile on your face (even if you have to force it) and let those endorphins do their job of lowering your stress hormone called cortisol.

2. Improve Relationships

No one wants to be around people who are always angry or sad, right? Having a positive attitude and a nice big smile on your face not only makes you more approachable to new people, but also helps to strengthen your existing relationships. A study done by the University of Pittsburgh even found that people with bigger smiles were viewed as being more trustworthy.

3. Pain Relief

Have you noticed that when you have had to stay home from work due to an injury or illness and you happen to watch something funny on TV your pain and discomfort is reduced? There actually is some science behind this. The Mayo Clinic even claims that laughter acts as a natural painkiller. So if you are stuck at home recovering from an injury or illness, throw on a comedy to help speed up your recovery!

4. Healthier Brain

According to author Shawn Achor, we help our brain create happiness loops every time we smile. Let’s make smiling part of our every day life and the more happiness loops our brain creates, the more positive-thinking patterns it generates!