Smile! But not because you are on “Candid Camera.”
Instead, smile — and smile a lot — because many might not know that smiling can produce a lot of health benefits for you and others.
In honor of Wednesday being National Smile Day, here are 10 health benefits smiling can produce, according to verywellmind.com.
1. Smiling can relieve stress
Even if you don’t like smiling, doing so can actually relieve stress, according to a study by psychologists at the University of Kansas.
In the study, a group of participants felt the same degree of stress during tasks, but participants who smiled had their heart rates return to normal more quickly than participants who didn’t smile.
2. Smiling can elevate your mood
Smiling can help release neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that can help boost your mood. The physical act of smiling can sort of trick your brain into entering a state of happiness.
In other words, smiling can make you happy!
3. Smiling can be contagious for others
In addition to enhancing your own mood, smiling can help boost the moods of others around you.
The brain can notice and interpret other people’s facial expressions, and sometimes that can lead a person to mimic them.
4. Smiling can lower blood pressure
Smiling and laughter has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure. This can especially be helpful in stressful or unexpected situations.
5. Smiling can boost the immune system
When smiling, the immune system can become more relaxed and function better due to neurotransmitters being released.
6. Smiling can help reduce pain
When smiling, endorphins, serotonin and other natural painkillers can often be released. When this happens, your body can become more relaxed and pain can be reduced.
7. Smiling suggests success
People who smile regularly often appear more confident, which make them more likely to be approached or promoted. Getting approached or promoted can certainly do wonders for anybody’s mental health.
8. Smiling can make you younger, more attractive
When smiling, muscles used to lift the face can help make a person look younger. Not only that, but people often assume people who smile have more positive personality traits, and thus are more attractive. Negative facial expressions such as frowns or scowls can have the opposite effect.
9. Smiling can help you stay positive
Even if it feels unnatural or forced, smiling has been shown to influence feelings of positivity with messages it can send to the brain.
10. Smiling helps you live longer
Happy people often enjoy better longevity and health, according to one report. Given that, smiling more likely can lead to a longer lifespan, and more time to influence your positive energy on others who need it!
Happy National Smile Day!