7 Reasons to Smile Today
Posted by GreaterGoodness
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
— Thích Nhất Hạnh
We all know that smiling is good for our health, but did you know that even a forced grin can have benefits?
Turns out smiling is a no-cost wellness tool that can have a big impact on your well being and life success. Here are 7 reasons you should smile today, whether you feel like it or not!
Smiling is a natural stress reducer.
In times of discomfort, the old adage “grin and bear it” might just hold some truth according to this study.
Smiling makes you more attractive.
In 2011, researchers at the Face Research Laboratory in Scotland found that both men and women were more attracted to images of people who made eye contact and smiled than those who did not, regardless of other physical features.
Smiling helps control pain.
Genuine or not, a smile releases the “feel-good” hormones such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin from your brain. In addition to relaxing your muscles, endorphins also act as 100% natural pain relievers. No negative side effects here!
Smiling reduces your blood pressure.
Those “feel-good” hormones don’t just impact your pain sensors. Turns out they can actually lower your heart rate and blood pressure, too.
Smiling strengthens your immune system.
Researchers have found that negative thoughts have the power to decrease your ability to fight off illness by bringing more stress into your system and negatively influencing your body’s chemical processes. Not good! In contrast, positive thoughts release neuropeptides that help fight stress, thereby freeing your immune system up to protect you from more serious offenders.
Smiling creates a domino effect of happiness.
We’ve all heard it said that “smiling is contagious,” and according to recent research, it actually is! The part of your brain responsible for facial expression resides in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious response area.
Smiling strengthens your brain.
According to the “broaden-and-build theory” of positive psychology, positive emotions have the power to broaden your awareness and encourage deeper, more exploratory thoughts and actions. Over time, this expanded mindset builds skills and resources, making you more flexible and innovative.
Smiling can make someone else’s day.
We don’t have a study to cite for this one, but do we really need it? We’ve all had days when a polite barista or a friendly passerby shook us out of a sour mood. Don’t forget that you have the power to do the same!