A smile can go a long way. It can start a friendship, dissolve an argument and spread happiness. Smiling can benefit both the body and mind.
Smiles lower stress
A study by University of Kansas psychologists indicates that in some circumstances, smiling can actually reduce stress and make us feel better. 169 students were involved in the experiment that involved holding chopsticks in their mouths in particular ways that prompted various facial expressions. They were put in stressful situations and had their heart rates monitored throughout. The students that had assumed the biggest smiles had lower heart rates and quicker recover times compared to those who had held neutral positions. In attempting to understand why this should happen, some researchers have suggested that smiling may reduce levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone.
Smiling boosts your immune system
Laughing and smiling encourages the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which contributes to a person’s happiness and wellbeing. One of it’s many benefits is boosting the immune system. It goes to show, laughter really is the best medicine!
A smile is the universal sign of happiness
There are no language barriers to a smile. The World over, a smile means the same thing and projects warmth and happiness.
Smiling makes you more approachable and trustworthy
From a psychological perspective, a smiling person appears more trustworthy than a person who is not. In fact, people are more likely to engage socially with a person they perceive as friendly and a smile is the perfect way to demonstrate this.
Smiles are good for your heart
The release of endorphins, through smiling, increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure, so with a simple smile you can lower your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular complaints.
Smiling improves your mood
Recent studies have shown that a person’s mood begins to align more strongly with the emotion his or her face is communicating.
Smiles are contagious
Have you ever noticed that a friend or even a stranger will reciprocate a smile? According to Neuroscientist Marco Lacoboni, when we see someone smiling at us, our mirror neurons for smiling fire up too, initiating a torrent of neural activity that evokes the feeling we typically associate with a smile.
A smile makes you look youthful
Smiling uses 7 different facial muscles. By smiling regularly you are exercising those muscles and keeping them firm.