Mother Teresa said it best: “I’ll never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.” Research shows that showing off those pearly whites is more than a way to connect to other people. Smiling can improve your mood, help your appearance, reduce stress, and benefit your overall health, and that’s something to smile about.
Smiling releases endorphins, and endorphins make people happy. They also counteract and diminish cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, give it a try. Faking a smile releases the same chemicals as the real thing. It’s the movement of the muscles in your face that triggers your brain to give off those good chemicals.
Smiling doesn’t only release endorphins; it also boosts serotonin levels. These hormones act as your body’s natural painkillers. Have a headache? Flash a grin.
Heart pounding? Studies report that smiling can lower your heart rate. So the next time you need to calm down, put a smile on your face.
Research shows that people who smile often live 7 years longer on average. Plus, one study reported that smiling makes you look 3 years younger. Two birds, one stone.
Smile and laugh more to temporarily reduce blood pressure. Some studies even indicate that smiling more often can lower your risk for heart disease.
Smiling can boost your immune system by helping your body create white blood cells, which help fight illness. And remember how smiling can help you relax? Being relaxed improves immune function. A stronger immune system means a healthier you.
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