Many psychologists and other professionals have suspected this for years, but increasingly more evidence is coming to light that smiling does more than increase your “face value”, that is can actually bring with it definite health benefits. Ten of the best reasons to smile more often are discussed below.
Immune System Boost
As cold and flu season is coming on, everyone is looking for ways to boost their immune system. One of the simplest ways to do this is simply by smiling, which can make you more relaxed and keep your body able to better fight off illness.
If you want to be pretty, smile! In one recent study, 69% of those surveyed found that women were more attractive when they smiled than they were when wearing make-up.
Make Yourself Memorable
Another study showed that participants were three times as likely to remember people if they were smiling than if they had a neutral or negative expression.
In one poll, nearly 86% of respondents said that they were more likely to strike up a conversation with a stranger and make new friends if that stranger is smiling. It is apparently a great way to boost your chances of getting to know others better.
Change the Way Others Perceive You
People who smile more often can change the way they are perceived by others; other people tend to see you as more confident and successful if you are smiling.
One study showed that, even if you are not in the mood, “fake smiling” for 20 seconds a day, if done for 21 consecutive days, actually works to create a new neural pathway in your brain so that the smile becomes instinctive and genuine.
Behavioral psychologists have shown that the simple act of smiling can reduce aggression in both the giver and receiver and can go a long way to de-escalating a situation and promoting non-violence.
Smiling has many positive impacts on one’s physical health as well, including releasing endorphins, acting as a natural analgesic, reducing high blood pressure and strengthening immunity. According to one study, this small act could increase life expectancy by about nine years!
Reduces the Effects of Pain and Stress
The bodily effects of the endorphin release that smiling can stimulate include reducing the effects of pain and stress and improving one’s emotional state. Endorphins like dopamine and serotonin can also have a positive impact on cognitive and neurological health and reduce problems like depression.
Everyone seems to be looking for a fountain of youth nowadays, and smiling might just be it! Smiling actually does make your face look younger and avoids frown and worry lines naturally, without having to resort to a facelift to do it!
So get ready and – say cheese! A smile may seem like a small act, but if that act becomes a habit, it really can make big improvements in your overall health and quality of life.