The infamous curly redhead, Annie, put it best: “You are never fully dressed without a smile!” We’ve all heard this age-old advice before, but scientific evidence proves that smiling is actually beneficial to our health! Read on to understand why you should be smiling more.
4 Reasons to Smile More
- Smiling Floods Your Brain with Feel-Good Hormones (More than Chocolate!) When was the last time you reached for a piece of chocolate to increase your happiness? We’ve all been there. According to a British study about pleasure inducers, one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as consuming 2,000 chocolate bars. So next time you reach for that chocolate, considering exposing your toothy grin instead!
- Smiling Can Reduce Stress. It can be tricky to find ways to cope with stress these days, however what if we told you a smile can protect your heart health? A recent study from the University of Kansas discovered that holding a fake smile is actually better than no smile at all! The study followed around volunteers that held genuine smiles, fake ones, and neutral expressions. Individuals who expressed a smile rather than a neutral face had lower heart rates.
- Smiling Can Make You Live Longer. Smiling may be able to extend your life! In a 2010 Wayne State University research project, researchers examined 1950’s baseball cards and calculated that players who were smiling in their pictures lived an average of 80 years old, while players san smile lived to be 72.9 years old.
- People Respond Positively to Smiles. Our brains are built for picking up on facial cues in order to relate to one another. The cingulate cortex is the part of the brain that decodes unconscious reactions, which explains why smiling can be contagious! When we see another smile, our brain is more inclined to smile as well. Smiling can produce a chain reaction of positivity around you.
Forced Smiles Have Benefits Too!
It can be a task to genuinely smile all the time, but fake smiling is still good for your health! Practice smiling instead of maintaining a blank expression to boost your mood and those around you. Buddhist author, Thich Nhat Hanh, profoundly states, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” We couldn’t agree more!