As restrictions lift, it has become abundantly clear to me that I missed looking at smiles on the faces I would come across in my travels. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but there’s something so warm about a smile. It almost seems like an invitation into the other persons world.
Each time you smile, you throw a little happy party in your brain. The act of smiling activates messaging that benefits your health and happiness. Here are a few:
How Smiling Affects Your Brain
Decreases Stress. Smiling activates the release of chemicals in the brain that work toward fighting off stress. These chemicals enable messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, or excited. The feel-good neurotransmitters—dopamine, endorphins and serotonin—are all released when a smile flashes across your face. Not only does this relax your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Improves Mood. When you smile your body releases three different hormones: dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These hormones “trick” your body into feeling happier, as low levels of these hormones are associated with depression. And there are no negative side effects or prescription needed to smiling, unlike an antidepressant.
Reduces Pain. The endorphins that are released when you smile act as a natural pain reliever and can temporarily reduce body aches or minor pains. Who knew we had a 100% organic pain reliever within us!
Increases Positivity. Smiling creates a positive feeling. Maintaining this upbeat thinking has real health benefits like an increased life span, better cardiovascular health, and lower rates of depression.
How Smiling Affects Your Body
Strengthens the Immune System. That good feeling when you smile triggers a chemical reaction in your brain, which releases small proteins called neuropeptides. These tiny molecules maintain immune tolerance and may help fight potentially serious illnesses. Finding time to smile and laugh with friends and family will keep you healthy!
Smiles are an Attraction. When you smile, people treat you differently. You’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed, sincere and confident.
How Smiling Affects Those Around You
You become Contagious. It takes a conscious effort to turn a smile upside-down. So if you’re smiling at someone, it’s likely they can’t help but smile back. A smile creates a mutual relationship that allows both of you to release feel-good chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers, make you both more attractive, and increase the chances of you both living longer, healthier lives.
The world is simply a better place with your smile in it. Make time to connect with friends or family who make you laugh whether it’s through their joke-telling or story-sharing. Remember, the more laughter in your life, the happier you and those around you will feel.
“Use your smile to change the world, don’t let the world change your smile.” ~unknown