Don’t feel like you have anything to smile about? Well, we suggest you try it anyway! It might be hard to believe that something as simple as smiling is actually good for your health. But multiple studies show that smiling benefits us in a variety of ways. Here are some of the main perks of a big ol’ grin.
You Look Good
Generally, your face looks better when you are smiling. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that other people find you more attractive when you smile. There are specific areas in your brain that activate when you see an attractive face, and guess what? This study found that these areas light up when you see a smile coming your way. So, as obvious as this may seem, smiling really looks great on you! Plus, as you age, those smile lines look way better than frown lines.
Your Mood Improves
Need more incentive to smile besides boosting your visual appeal? Well, smiling can make you feel even better than you look. Smiling makes you feel good because when you smile, your body releases endorphins, or happy hormones. This flood of cheerful chemicals acts like a super vitamin for every system in your body.
One team of researchers found that even forced smiling and laughter can improve your mood. They found that laughing is a more powerful mood booster, but even faking a smile improved the mood of participants.
Smiles Relieve Stress
More than just improving your general mood, smiling can help you relieve or even recover from stress. A study found that smiling can make your body less stressed—even if you force it. That’s right, whether you are truly happy or not, that smile has power.
The participants in the study experienced real physical benefits, like a lower heart rate, during and after stressful tasks. Those physical benefits translate into psychological benefits, allowing you to “feel” less stressed.
You Spread Cheer
All this grinning doesn’t just benefit you. When you smile, you can pass on all those good smiling effects to others if you smile at them. When you smile, even at someone you don’t know, that person is likely to smile back—that is if they realize the smile is pointed in their direction.
As soon as you pass your smile to someone, their body and mind goes through that same response of happy hormones and stress reduction. Sure, this might be a small dose. But imagine how many of those small doses could be passed around during your morning commute, at your office, on your zoom calls, or running errands. Plus, the more we all smile, the better we’ll all look!
Try This at Home!
We should add a word of caution. By trying this for yourself, you may unknowingly brighten someone else’s day or pass your smile on to them. Smiling more also puts you at risk for having less stress and a better mood.
Smile! It’s good for you. 😀