The Health Benefits of Smiling
Now that Trick-or-Treat is behind us, it’s officially the Holiday Season! And, you’re probably already getting busy making lists and checking them twice (and three and four times). As the days tick by and you become increasingly more involved with food preparation, travel, parties and gifts, feelings of stress, depression, anger and overwhelm can begin to creep up on you.
Our advice? In order to stay healthy, happy and connected, remember to put on your smile before you head out to tackle each day. Studies show it really works! Here are a few fun facts to prove it.
Forcing yourself to smile can alter your mood.
A 2010 study revealed that when you smile, it releases serotonin in your body that can help counteract depression and increase positive thoughts.
Smiling boosts your immune system.
According to a study published in Psychology Today, smiling also releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin in your body that have the power to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, the endorphins act as natural pain relievers; staving off looming tension headaches.
It’s easier to smile than frown.
It’s an old wives’ tale that smiling takes fewer muscles than frowning, but it IS easier to smile because we’ve worked out those muscles more.
Smiles are contagious.
A 2008 study by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California – San Diego and published in the British Medical Journal found that smiles can easily spread within social circles. Twenty-five percent or more people in contact with one happy person can be positively influenced by that person’s smile. For those in closer proximity, like neighbors, that percentage increased to 34 percent.
Smiles relieve stress.
Smithsonian.com reported on a 2010 study that suggested that the act of smiling reduces the level of cortisol – a stress-related hormone in your body.
Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expressions.
The Psychology Today article “Face It” reports that we humans can detect smiles from as far away as 300 feet.
Smiles beat makeup for good looks.
In a 1,000-person study by Orbit Complete® for its Healthy Smile campaign, both men (63%) and women (73%) said that smiles made a person more attractive than wearing makeup.
You have a wardrobe of 19 smiles.
But, only six of them express joy. Make sure your wardrobe includes a glowing holiday smile.