Can Smiling Make You Healthier?
Every little thing that can make life happier for you is worth seeking out. One simple thing—smiling more—can help you feel healthier and happier, and it doesn’t cost a dime. Here are four ways that smiling can make you healthier.
It makes other people smile.
The next time you watch a comedy on TV, pay attention to your face when the characters are smiling. You might notice that you unconsciously smile when they do. Mirror neurons in your brain mimic the behavior and facial expressions of other people, including on TV.
So whenever you smile, you’re unconsciously making other people smile. It’s a nice way to share a moment with your spouse or even introduce yourself to someone new. When you’re smiling, everyone around you feels more relaxed and eager to engage with you positively, meaning your social life becomes healthier.
It reminds your brain to feel happy.
Smiling is a reflex response to happiness and humor, and you’re always smiling when you feel your best. Your brain automatically associates these muscle movements with the neurotransmitters that are responsible for happiness.
In other words, a happy moment can make you smile, but a smile can always make you feel happy too. The next time you’re crying or frustrated, try your best to smile and see how it affects your mood.
It will help get rid of stress.
Several studies suggest that smiling can lower your heart rate and make frustrating tasks easier to deal with. On top of the physiological benefits, a smile is one of the easiest ways to make group tasks more manageable. If you can laugh and joke your way through a group assignment or long meeting, you’ll feel more endeared to your coworkers and friends and make the most out of a difficult situation.
It will help you avoid getting sick.
One study shows that smiling more can lead to an increase in your white blood cells, which are responsible for hunting and destroying viruses and bacteria in your system. Children in the hospital were visited by entertainers, and their white blood cell count was measured. The children who were visited showed a minor increase in their ability to fight infection.
It’s well documented that a happier, more positive mood will keep you healthier and help you live longer. Keep smiling even when it’s painful, and you’ll see that life is just a little easier than it was before.