29 Sep 8 REASONS TO SMILE MORE
The simple act of smiling does far more than just make you look friendly – it can change your life and the lives of those around you.
But did you know that smiling also triggers activity in your brain? It’s true, there’s a serious mind-body connection there, in your left frontal cortex to be exact, which is—not surprisingly—the area of your brain that registers happiness.
Your face has 44 muscles in it that allow you make more than 5,000 different types of expressions, many of which are smiles. Here are 8 reasons why you should flash your pearly whites more often.
8 Reasons to Smile More
1. Smiling can make you happy.
It turns out that the simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. Psychologists have found if you grin for 60 seconds, no matter how fake or forced it feels, it releases serotonin which tricks the body into making you feel happy again.
So the next time you feel sad or upset, try smiling. It just might make your body, and therefore you, feel better.
2. Smiling is contagious.
When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you. Studies show that something as simple as seeing a friend smile can activate the muscles in your face to make that same expression, without you even being aware that you are doing it.
3. You’ll live longer.
When you are smiling, it’s difficult not to be positive. And a positive attitude has been shown to increase life expectancy. Researchers at Columbia University found happier people were less likely to develop heart problems.
4. Smiling can help you de-stress.
Scientists have found that smiling on purpose can help people feel better. Just the simple act of putting a smile on your face can lead you to feel actual happiness, joy, or amusement. Smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry. So it can be a big help to people who are dealing with depression and anxiety.
Reducing stress is so important for health, too, as it can lower blood pressure, improve digestion and regulate blood sugar. Note that this works during workouts, too! If you’re having a hard time getting through that last rep or getting those final 5 minutes in on the treadmill, smiling can do wonders.
5. Smiling can help you land a job.
Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently. So the next time you’re dressing to impress, make sure to take that beautiful, natural smile with you.
6. Your relationships will be stronger.
People who smile more may have longer and more successful marriages. People who smile more tend to be more optimistic, joyful and emotionally stable which lends itself to healthier relationships.
7. Smiling can lead to laughter.
Have you ever laughed without smiling? It’s pretty impossible to do. And it’s funny how a smile here and a smile there with friends can turn into a whole fit of hysterical laughter. Numerous studies have been done on the health benefits of laughing, including how it acts like a mini workout that burns calories and works the abs. Laughter also helps blood flow, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces stress and improves sleep. It may also raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body, which helps boost your immune system. So the moral of this story is smile—and laugh—often.
8. Smiling just feels good.
Have you ever found that smiling just feels good? Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!”
So the next time you’re feeling down or out of sorts, try a smile. If you can’t find a reason to smile, pop in a funny DVD, read the Sunday comics or call a friend. Heck, you may be able to even read the word smile and feel better.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.