SMILE and the world smiles with you… (and you’ll feel better, too.)
When we’re greeted by a smile, it’s hard not to return the expression. We’ve all been there. Even a “really bad day” can brighten when someone else takes the time to offer an open, genuine smile. The next thing we know, we are smiling back and the mood of the day starts to improve. Okay, so far this is not brain surgery. Smiling can make us feel better, but did you know that the simple act of smiling actually results in positive physiological changes in our bodies? Following are just a few ways smiling can make a real difference both internally and externally.
Smiling Makes You More Attractive
A smile can soften your features. It can make you more attractive to others and draw them to you, while a frown can send the opposite signal. Ever notice how the before and after photos to promote some miracle anti-aging product or procedure show the dour “before” shot looking sad and tired, and the happy, smiling “after” shot looking years younger? I always wonder if the difference is more the result of the smile, and less attributable to the product.
Smiling Can Change Your Mood
Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance your mood will change for the better. By smiling you can trick your body into helping you lift your mood. Multiply the effects when your smile elicits a smile and improved mood from someone you encounter. Watch out…the results are definitely contagious!
Smiling Relieves Stress
Stress can really show up in your face. Smiling helps to prevent you from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed, but the effect is more than skin deep. Our bodies react to stress by increasing the flow of adrenaline, which over time can lead to chronic inflammation and lead to a number of conditions, from diabetes to heart disease, hypertension and strokes. Smiling helps to turn off the flow of adrenaline and tells your body all is well.
Smiling Boosts the Immune System
Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, your immune system function improves, possibly because you are more relaxed. Smiling not only makes you feel better initially, it can actually protect you from disease by strengthening your body’s immune response.
Smiling Lowers Blood Pressure
When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, and take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. See the results?
Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin
Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug, that doesn’t come with dangerous side effects.
Smiling Helps You Stay Positive
When you are smiling, it is almost impossible to concentrate on negative things. Try it. Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When you smile your body is sending the message that “Life is Good!” Use this technique to ward off depression, stress and worry just by smiling.