You likely haven’t given much thought to that smile that crosses your face when you experience something funny, pose for a photo, or watch cute videos online. However, smiling is more than just a pretty face! Smiling has a wide variety of health benefits, so get ready to show the world your gorgeous smile and reap the benefits of this practice.
Keep Calm— Smiling Reduces Stress
Stress and anxiety fade when a smile crosses your face. By releasing endorphins (your happy chemicals), smiling can turn your anxiety and stress into a relaxed, pleasant face. Try it next time you’re at work or feeling overwhelmed at home.
Endorphins are released when the muscles in your face work to construct your smile, and even a fake smile or laugh works! You can help your brain to relax and release endorphins whether or not you’re actually feeling happy, amused, or tickled. In addition to reducing stress, endorphins can also help people suffering from chronic pain. Endorphins work to fight the feeling of pain in the body, so things like exercise and smiling that release endorphins are now on your to-do list. Release tension with a smile!
Smile to Fight Illness
Did you know that smiling can actually boost your immune system? Increase your white blood cell count with a smile! In addition to reducing stress (which can encourage illness, as white blood cell count plummets), you can help your body to better respond to intruders and illnesses with a smile. So relax, smile, and brave the flu season with a grin on your face!
Smiling can even be good for your heart because it helps you to better deal with stress and illness. This study shows that people who smiled more had healthier hearts (or, hearts that recovered faster from stress) than those didn’t.
Get Extra Benefits with Laughter
You may be smiling through a telephone call with an old friend, but for those times you bubble over with laughter, you’re getting some extra health benefits! From richer air into your lungs to stimulate major organs to dropping your stress levels and leaving a great feeling from your increased heart rate, laughter truly is the best medicine.
Having a good laugh can increase circulation, boost your immune system, better your coping mechanisms in response to stress or anxiety, and improve your mood. Feeling happy is more than just a passing endorphin rush—turns out feeling happy can actually lead to being happy!
If you’re self-conscious about your smile, visit your dentist to get your smile cleaned or beautifully restored. Although you may not feel like smiling with a stained, chipped, or gapped smile, your dentist can help you to gain your confidence back and enjoy the health benefits of your smile every day. Smile and laugh to be healthy!