Any excuse to smile, especially today. It’s National Smile Day!!! Did you know that smiling has well-documented social benefits? A genuine smile can make you seem more likable, attractive, intelligent and trustworthy. And smiling more often—regardless of your mood—can improve your health and help you live longer. Here are seven surprising health benefits of smiling:
1.Improved Mood – Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue, and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression
2. Lower Blood Pressure – Smiling and laughing more appear to help lower your blood pressure, which is good news for your heart health.
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
4. Better Relationships – Have you noticed that you’re drawn to people who smile a lot? People who smile are perceived as being more likable than people who don’t smile. Being likable makes it easier to build and maintain better relationships with people, which is important for your overall health and well-being.
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 signaling molecules in your brain that fight stress and illness, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity.
6. Pain Relief – The 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.
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!
Story credit: benefitsbridge