The Health Benefits of Smiling

The Health Benefits of Smiling

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But, what about a smile? A smile on your face is one of the first things someone will see. A smile can brighten up anyone’s day. A smile can instantly make you feel at ease. Smiling is contagious. In fact, the power of a smile has been famously quoted on, sung about, and even researched in scientific studies. So, what is it about smiling that makes it such a powerful tool? We’ll take a look at the benefits of smiling and how you can use it to make your life a little happier, healthier, and brighter.

The Science Behind Smiling

Did you know that there’s actually science behind the health benefits of smiling? One theory called facial feedback hypothesis says that any type of facial movement you make, like smiling, can influence your emotional experiences. And, those emotional experiences affect your physical and psychological well-being too. So, when someone says, “Turn that frown upside down,” you can almost instantly affect your overall health and wellness with the change of an expression to a smile.

This is just one scientific theory that shows us how smiling can affect our health. And, there are lots of different studies and science behind smiling. But, what are some of the practical benefits of smiling that affect us everyday? We’ll explore this more in with a list of the top 10 reasons to smile more often.

Top 10 Reasons to Smile More

Now that we know a bit more about the science behind smiling, there’s no denying that there’s some pretty amazing power in seeing smiling more often and seeing someone else smile too. Here are some of the best reasons that smiling is good for your health.  

  1. Smiling helps improve your mood

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” - Mother Teresa 

We’ve all been there. Those days when things just aren’t going your way and you’re in a bad mood. But, did you know that by simply smiling, you can actually improve your mood? That’s right, a smile can help take you from a bad mood to a good one with a simple curve of the mouth. And, smiling not only improves your mood temporarily, but it can also improve your mood for the long-term too. But, don’t worry. Just because you’re in a bad mood, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Scientific research actually shows that even fake smiling can help improve your mood too. So, smile and fake it til you make a good mood, that is.

  1. Smiling is contagious

“The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always sees the world smiling back.” - Bryant H. McGill

Even if you’re having a bad day, it’s hard not to smile when you see someone else smiling at you. That’s because smiling is contagious. And, it’s not just because it’s nice to see someone else smile; research shows that our brains are actually hard-wired to mimic the facial expressions of the people around us. So, the more you smile and improve your own mood, the more others around you will smile too.

  1. Smiling helps reduce your stress

“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don't get so worked up about things.” - Kenneth Branagh

The old phrase grin and bear it is really true when it comes to smiling. Smiling through adversity, like stressful situations has been proven to help people recover from stress more easily. So, whether you’re stuck in traffic during rush hour or coping with the death of a loved one, smiling a bit can actually help you deal with whatever stressor is affecting you. It doesn’t mean you have to be smiling all the time. But, allowing yourself to smile or adjust your facial expression even just a little bit can make a big difference in reducing your stress levels.

  1. Smiling lowers your blood pressure

“Share your smile with the world. It's a symbol of friendship and peace.” - Christie Brinkley

They say “Laughter is the best medicine.” But, smiling can actually be a pretty good medicine too. In fact, smiling can actually have a pretty powerful effect on your body. We already know it’s a good way to reduce stress. And, studies have shown that reducing stress helps your heart and blood pressure too. So, when it comes to keeping your blood pressure in check, a simple smile may really be the best medicine.  

  1. Smiling helps you have better relationships

“If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.” - Maya Angelou 

If smiling is contagious and improves your mood, then it’s sure to help you have happier and healthier relationships with friends and family too. That’s because smiling actually sends signals that you are enjoying being with the other person. And, believe it or not, there’s actually been studies that have shown how smiling in photos can indicate your relationship success.

  1. Smiling makes you more attractive

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” - Thich Nhat Hanh 

We’re often told that if we smile, we’ll be more attractive to others. It may be simple, but it’s actually true. Scientific research indicates that the more we smile, the more attractive we are to others. So, smiling isn’t just good for having good relationships, it’s also an effective way to improve your attractiveness to those around you. So, ditch the expensive makeup and fancy clothes. A simple smile is the best accessory you can have.

  1. Smiling boosts your productivity at home and at work

“I can't change my personality. I'll always smile, but I'll be more focused.” - Katarina Johnson-Thompson

There’s nothing worse than being at a job that’s unpleasant. But, did you know that no matter what kind of job you’re in, smiling can help improve your mood and affect your productivity? Why? That’s because smiling can increase your happiness. And, research shows that happiness leads to feeling content. This leads to being more productive at home and at the workplace. So, don’t forget to start your work day with a cup of coffee and a smile.

  1. Smiling makes you more creative

“Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you'll start to see a big difference in your life.” -  Yoko Ono

Creativity can be fueled by a lot of different things. And one surefire way to inspire your creativity is smiling. Research suggests that smiling can make you happy. And, happiness actually releases something called dopamine, which actually affects decision-making, learning, and processing information. So, by releasing more dopamine, you’re actually helping activate your brain and increase creativity. So, go ahead. Smile and let your creativity run free.

  1. Smiling helps improve your immune system

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” - Phyllis Diller

A simple smile may seem like it won’t do much to improve your health. But, smiling is actually a very easy way we can reduce stress, improve our relationships, and overall impact our general health. By doing all of these things, you’re actually improving your immune system and helping stay in the best health possible. Scientific research shows that smiling and improving happiness are one positive way you can boost your immune system -- making it one of the easiest ways to stay healthy and happy for the long-term.

  1. Smiling helps you live a longer life

“The main thing that you have to remember on this journey is, just be nice to everyone and always smile.” - Ed Sheeran

Overall, smiling has so many health benefits that it’s no surprise that it can actually help you live a longer life. According to researchers, the more you smile, the higher chance you have of living longer. That’s because smiling is a powerful tool for increasing overall health and wellness. So, keep on smiling and embrace those smiling and laugh lines on your face.  

If You Just Smile: Improving Your Health and Wellness by Smiling

There’s no doubt that smiling is good for both the body and the soul. It helps improve your mood and positively affects our relationships with those around us. It even helps us be more productive and embrace our creativity. Even better? It’s one of the easiest ways to improve our health and feel our best everyday. So, smile whenever you can.

Want to put a smile on someone else’s face? Send your friends and family a HeartSpace Card for any occasion to let them know you’re thinking of them.