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The Surprising Health Benefits of Smiling

The Surprising Health Benefits of Smiling
Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.

How often do you smile per day? Children smile, on average, 400 times a day, whereas the happiest adults only smile 40-50 times a day. Smiling doesn’t just make you feel happier, but it can even boost your immune system, improve your relationships and make you look and feel younger! In this article, learn 5 surprising health benefits of smiling based on scientific research and studies.

1. Smiling Releases Endorphins

You may think of a smile as just a result of positive emotions or stimuli, but smiling affects your stress levels and mood, too. Smiling releases endorphins, which lift your mood, help you relax, and lower your blood pressure. Endorphins are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high. Smile more to get that high without running.

2. Smiling Improves Your Heart Health

The release of endorphins through smiling increases blood flow. Smiling has been associated with increased HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the body. Smiling also lowers the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Thus, smiling more can improve your overall heart health.

3. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

Smiling initiates the release of serotonin in the body which helps boost the immune system as they stimulate monocytes and lymphocytes, which are types of white blood cells that fight against infections in the body. Serotonin also regulates the release of cytokines (chemical messengers of the immune system), so this suggests that smiling leads to overall longevity.

4. Smiling Improves Your Relationships

People find you more attractive when you smile. Studies show that different areas of the brain light up when looking at pictures of people who are smiling versus those who are not smiling. People who are smiling to any degree are also considered more trustworthy than those with neutral expressions. Smiling is so contagious that the benefits of you smiling can extend beyond yourself to the people you engage with.

5. Smiling Makes You Look Younger

On average, research has shown that you can look about three years younger when you’re smiling. When you smile, you don’t just use the muscles around the mouth, but also the ones that cause the cheeks to raise and the eyes to crescent. This can naturally lift your face up and fend off any frown lines that you may get. As a result, this can help you look younger. A smile can be an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

So get smiling! Watch a funny movie and hang out with happy people. We all deserve a happier and less stressful life, so share your lovely smile with others. The smile on your face could literally make you happier, healthier, more attractive, and help you live a longer life. Doesn’t the thought of that make you smile?
Written by Trishna Patnaik
Trishna Patnaik has a BSC (in Life Sciences) and an MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but is an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, she has practiced painting for over 14 years now. Trishna is also an art therapist and healer and conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.
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