Smile More to Live Longer
All around the world—across countless countries, cultures, and societies—people recognize smiling as an expression of pleasure, sociability, happiness, joy, and amusement. Beyond its ability to communicate emotion, did you know that smiling can strengthen your immune system?
Researchers have shown that smiling is exceptional for your health as well as for maintaining interpersonal relationships. Dr. Larson wants you to have a smile that you’re proud to show your friends and family. For this reason, he created this page to showcase the array of advantages associated with smiling.
Smiling & Your Happiness
While we commonly understand that smiling is a product of happiness, it can create happiness as well. For example, smiling can boost your mood by tricking the body. When we smile, it activates a neural messaging process in your brain. Once triggered, the neural communication releases endorphins that act as natural antidepressants. These endorphins will boost your mood, even if you had to force a smile in the first place.
Along with the endorphins, smiling releases neurotransmitters called serotonin which regulates multiple body functions, including digestion, blood clotting, bone density, libido, and your mood.
When combined, endorphins and serotonin will make your entire body feel great. It can also keep you away from depression, stress, and worry.
Smiling & Your Wellbeing
It’s evident that smiling and happiness go hand-in-hand, but it may excite you to hear that smiling can lower your stress levels and increase productivity.
In a 2015 study, researchers from the journal Social Behavior and Personality asked participants to complete a list of challenging tasks. They were split into groups—smiling and non-smiling. What they found was that the smiling group had lower stress levels and heart rates than the non-smiling group.
The researchers went a step further by asking some of the participants to hold chopsticks horizontally in their mouths to simulate a smile. After monitoring the new group, they saw the same advantages as the smiling group, meaning you can benefit even if you’re faking a smile.
Smiling & Socializing
Smiling is contagious. This is a phrase that people casually throw around all the time, but researchers from the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences verifies it. When you smile at someone (or display any emotion), their natural reaction is to emulate it.
Additionally, smiling exuberates the feeling of friendliness and comfort. These emotions are crucial when you’re trying to make a first impression. Also, smiling can make you appear younger and more lively.
Smiling & Your Appearance
It’s no surprise that a healthy smile can make you look more attractive. What is surprising is that people are naturally drawn to you the more you smile. It conveys more about your personality which helps you form a bond with people.
It works the other way as well; if you often frown, it can cause people to associate negative connotations with your personality and drive them away.
Beyond aesthetics, another benefit smiling offers your appearance is that it makes you seem successful. People who smile are more likely to be approached with job opportunities, more likely to be promoted, and more likely to find a partner.
Next time you have an important meeting—whether with your boss or a stranger who has caught your eye—try smiling. If nothing else, it will create a first impression that can make all the difference.