The Health Benefits of Smiling

How many times have you smiled today? Take a second and think about it. I bet you can count on one hand the times. Life’s too short for that few smiles and here’s the thing…

Smiling isn’t Just Contagious, it’s Beneficial in more ways than one.

Today we’re diving 5 ways beyond belief that smiling helps you, the last one is shocking, all backed by research and then we’ll finish up with how many smiles you should have a day to get these benefits.

  1. We’ll start with the blinding flash of the obvious, Smiling Makes you Feel Better and Happier

    Researchers in a study published in the journal Psychological Science titled “Facial Feedback Hypothesis: Experimental Test of the Facial Feedback Effect on Emotion.” found that simply holding a smile, even a fake one, can actually improve your mood and reduce stress.

    If you choose to fake it, make sure to fake it really good because if you don’t move your eye muscles you don’t get as strong as an effect.

    So Even if you’re feeling down, faking a grin triggers your brain to release serotonin. Serotonin acts as a natural anti-depressant, and helps regulate your mood, sleep, and even your learning. giving your mood a natural boost.

  2. Smiling Helps you Deal with Stress.

    A study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, titled “The social buffer hypothesis: Social support strengthens the short-term detrimental effects of stress on health”, explored the link between social support and stress resilience.They found that Smiling at others and receiving smiles in return actually strengthens social bonds and helps buffer the negative effects of stress on physical health by lowering cortisol levels.. That’s right, a friendly grin can act as a shield against the harmful effects of daily pressures.
  3. A smile makes people trust you more.

    A study in the Journal of Journal of Economic Psychology titled the The value of a smile: Game theory with a human face found that a people trust people who smile more, even strangers.

  4. Smiling Keeps Your Immunity High

    It’s been shown that stress lowers your immune system. A meta-analysis published in the journal.. Psychological Bulletin concluded that stress reduction interventions effectively enhance immune function in healthy individuals. Smile more and you keep your immune system high. That’s good for you and everyone around you.

  5.  Smiling makes you look up to 3 years younger.

    A study at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin asked 150 men and women to guess the ages of the faces from over 1,000 photographs and found that while neutral facial expressions generated the most accurate age guesses, happy faces were voted as the youngest looking.

    For you ladies listening here’s some great news for you, Female smiling faces fared better than men and were judged as looking up to three years younger than men.

    Men, you’re not down and out, people found most smiling men’s faces to be two years younger.

Last but not least, how many smiles do you need in a day to get all these benefits? Just 1. A study published in Psychological Science titled “Facial Feedback Hypothesis: Experimental Test of the Facial Feedback Effect on Emotion” found that simply holding a smile, even a fake one, for 2 minutes can improve your mood and reduce stress. 

So, there you have it! 

Your smile is your hidden weapon boosting your mood, reducing stress, strengthening bonds, and even improving your physical health. 

Flash a few smiles today, make yourself feel a little better and make the world a little brighter.

Your move.

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