If you read the title of this post with a smile on your face, know that your brain just released some endorphins – the feel-good chemicals. But that’s just one thing. Studies have shown that smiling can have a positive effect on our mental health and can boost the immune system. To begin with, it releases stress and emotions. But all this holds true for genuine smiles. The French physician, Guillaume Duchenne, coined a term ‘Duchenne smile’ for real smiles, which is considered as the sole indicator of true enjoyment.
As Savetime decides to spread smiles today, we are giving away free smiles through these health benefits of smiling.
- Lowers Heart Rate
Smiling reduces blood pressure levels, if only temporarily, and lets the heart work without any stress. People who are emotionally sound and smile and laugh often are less likely to develop a heart condition. A study, which consisted of 2,000 people, carried out by the European Heart Journal, revealed that people with a positive outlook towards life are less likely to develop heart conditions than their pessimistic peers.
- Reduces Anxiety
Sure, it isn’t easy to smile when in a stressful situation. But if you try to calm yourself down, take a breath, share a joke and smile it away, your anxiety is sure to fade. Smiling is known to release the body’s happiness hormone endorphin. With its release, cortisol levels, the stress hormone, also come down.
- Strengthens the Immune System
One study found that smiling produces white blood cells (WBC) in our body which are responsible for improving our immunity.
- Relieves Pain
A study published in the Journal of Pain, revealed that people who frowned at an unpleasant medical procedure felt more pain than those who smiled through it. The release of endorphins is the science behind this awesome revelation. Endorphins, the happiness chemicals, are released when you smile and act as natural painkillers. You could try this when you have a headache or a sore throat the next time. Watch a funny Youtube video. And when you crack up and laugh, you will see why they say that laughter is the best medicine!
- Uplifts Mood
You may think that people smile only when they are happy. But that’s partly untrue. Dr. Michael Lewis, a psychologist at Cardiff University explained, “Simply using the same muscles as smiling will put you in a happier mood. And that’s because, use of those muscles is how our brain evaluates moods.” So, find a reason to smile and your mood will follow.
- Makes You Attractive
Needless to say, when you have a smile on your face you seem more attractive to people. Smiling improves facial features and sharpens them. The use of muscles keeps the face looking young and charming. A full-blown smile is a sign of confidence.
- Adds Life
Believe it or not, smiling has a positive effect on longevity. Smiling in both, good and bad situations, is a sign of great mental health. A happy disposition can have a powerful impact on life expectancy. In 2010, the Telegraph wrote a report on a recent study by Wayne University, in which the experts studied 230 old photographs of major league baseball players in the 1952 baseball register. Each of these pictures had the player’s statistics, like his age, weight, marital status. Based on this, the experts ranked each of these players on their smile – no smile, partial smile and full-blown smile. To cut to the chase, the conclusion of this study was: among the 184 players who had died, those in the ‘no smile’ group lived an average of 72.9 years. The ‘partial smile’ group lived an average of 75 years and those with the widest grins and genuine smiles lived an average of 79.9 years.This was a ground-breaking medical revelation which concluded that smiling often can add up to 7 years to your life.If you need a better reason than this to smile, consider this: it takes only 17 muscles to smile and 43 muscles to frown. Which means smiling is not only good for health, it is also easier on you.