Grin and Bear It: 3 Positive Benefits Smiling Has on Your Health
Have you ever wished that you could add years to your life just by doing one simple thing?
Here’s some good news: a study found that baseball players with the biggest smiles enjoyed seven more years of life than those who had a deadpan look.
And when you’re showing off your pearly whites, you can rest assured that strangers aren’t judging you harshly for doing so. In fact, people perceive you as more positive and capable when you’re smiling.
Still not convinced the benefits are worth the effort? Let’s look at a few reasons why you should start grinning more often if you want to be around as long as possible!
1. Improves Stress Recovery
Over four in 10 US adults experience health issues due to stress. Not only does chronic stress increase blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, but it may also contribute to Alzheimer’s.
Fortunately, research indicates a smile assists the body in recovering from stress. Both the brain and the heart benefit as a result.
The reason for this is still unknown. That said, some experts believe it may have to do with improved blood flow in the brain.
If you continue to find yourself stressing out too much, give mindful meditation a try.
2. Serves as a Natural Mood Enhancer
Americans today are the least happy they’ve been in over a decade.
Health issues like obesity and heart disease are more common in people who suffer from depression. Depressed women also face an elevated risk of developing osteoporosis.
Many medical experts hold that impaired levels of serotonin lead to depression. When you smile, however, your brain releases not only serotonin but also dopamine (a.k.a. the ‘happy hormone’).
The contagious aspect of smiling makes the people around you happier. So consider visiting an orthodontist if you’re self-conscious about the alignment of your teeth.
3. Bolsters Your Immune System
Do you have chronic infections or digestive issues?
If so, you might be dealing with suppressed immunity. And if you’re immune system is weaker than normal, you may be at greater risk of ending up with a more serious ailment such as cancer.
Don’t fret just yet, because you can give your immune system the kick that it needs by cracking a smile, which puts you in a more relaxed state. For best results, though, you actually need to take it a step further and enjoy a hearty laugh.
Final Thoughts on the Health Benefits of Smiling
So all in all, what does smiling do? It can help with stress, boost immunity, and promote happiness. Oh, and it also causes people to see you as more successful and makes them want to spend more time around you.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a legitimate smile to reap these benefits. Even feigning a grin will change your life for the better.
Now that you know why smiling is good for you, want to learn more ways to get healthy and live a long, fulfilling life? If the answer is yes, be sure to check out the health and wellness section of our blog for more posts like this one!