LOOK YOUNG, FEEL YOUNG: THE SMILE EFFECT
Science has actually taught us that it takes more muscle power to frown than to smile. While some claim 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, some others are of the opinion that it takes 26 muscles to smile and 62 to frown. Whatever turns out to be the correct percentage, one thing is certain: we use fewer muscles to smile and more to frown.
It is no longer a secret that smiling has some great advantages which have been seen to improve not only one’s facial features remarkably but also one’s health in general. Going through this article on benefitsbridge, I decided to share some of the great social benefits written there:
1. Improved Mood
Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. A 2010 study found that making yourself smile when you’re feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts. So, if you’re having a bad day, try smiling anyway—it may lead to a genuine smile and lift your spirits.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Smiling and laughing more appear to help lower your blood pressure, which is good news for your heart health. A 2009 review explains that laughter causes an initial increase in heart rate, followed by a period of muscle relaxation and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
3. Stress Relief
Did you know that smiling more often, whether you’re feeling happy or not, helps your body deal with stressful situations more effectively? A 2015 study published in Psychological Science found that smiling can result in a lower heart rate during stressful tasks. Stress generally causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. So, maintaining a smile when stressed provides you with both psychological and physical health benefits.
4. Better Relationships
Have you noticed that you’re drawn to people who smile a lot? People who smile are perceived as being more likeable than people who don’t smile, according to one 2014 study. Being likeable makes it easier to build and maintain better relationships with people, which is important for your overall health and well-being. A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions have more stable marriages and better interpersonal skills than people with negative emotions. So, keep a smile on your face to help create stronger, healthier social bonds.
5. Stronger Immune Function
Believe it or not, laughter (which often begins with a smile) appears to help boost your body’s immune system. Mayo Clinic reports that laughter and positive thoughts release signalling molecules in your brain that fight stress and illnesses, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity. One 2015 study found that laughter therapy increases immune responses in women who have just had babies. So, maybe laughter really is the best medicine.
6. Pain Relief
Pain relief might be the last thing you’d associate with smiling and laughter, but there are, indeed, links. Mayo Clinic reports that laughter causes your body to release its own natural painkillers. And a 2012 study found that social laughter increases your pain threshold, creating a higher pain tolerance. So, if you’re in pain due to an injury, illness or chronic disease, watch a funny movie, attend a comedy show or hang out with friends and family who make you smile.
7. Longer Life
It turns out that the fountain of youth might be right under your nose. A 2010 study found that smiling and positive emotions are associated with increased life spans. Talk about a reason to smile!
Smiling and laughter are beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being. Even if you’re feeling blue, crack a smile and reap the numerous health benefits of smiling.
SOURCE: BENEFITS BRIDGE
PHOTO CREDIT: Center for Health Care Services