The resounding answer is yes, smiling affects your health. And it does so in a multitude of positive ways. No wonder many quotes and poems about smiling exist from across the ages.
Below we’ve listed a few ways a smile is good medicine. Turns out our motto, we change lives, not just smiles is truer than ever.
Stress and pain relief
Your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress when you smile. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins come into play. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever and serotonin helps with depression.
Reduces blood pressure and risk of heart disease
A smile might just lower your blood pressure. It’s been proven to lower your heart rate and laughter lowers your blood pressure after initially increasing heart rate and breathing.
If you’re feeling down, try smiling. The physical act of smiling activates pathways in your brain that influence your emotional state. In other words, your smile can trick your mind into thinking you’re happy. This works even if your smile isn’t genuine.
Your smile can also lift others’ moods as it affects the reward center of our brain when we see someone else smile.
Smiling can help in decreasing perceived effort and increase athletic performance. It’s also been proven that more oxygen is taken in when smiling through exertion.
Strengthened immune system
Smiling boosts your overall health by helping your immune system to function more effectively.
Laughter and positive thinking increase immune response. Humor can raise levels of immune cells and boost infection-fighting antibodies.
Better job performance
Smiling can affect your job performance. Positive emotions appear to invigorate people and decision-making and learning release dopamine so smiling can also make you a more creative and efficient worker. It’s also been shown that people who smile more on the job appear more confident and are more likely to be promoted.
Recent evidence suggests optimism and maintaining a positive mood may contribute to living a longer and healthier life.