Smile—It’s Good for Your Health!

Children tend to smile much more than adults and, as it turns out, there’s surprising science that supports smiling as being potentially beneficial to your health, so your kids may be on to something.

Smiling activates facial muscles and chemical messengers in the body that can tell our brains that we’re happy—even if we’re not necessarily. So the act of smiling itself may just make you feel better.

So why exactly is smiling good for your health? Let’s take a look at what research says.

Smiling Can Generate Feel-Good Chemicals

Smiling can help produce natural feel-good chemicals in the body, namely dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. In fact, one study showed that one smile can boost these mood-boosting chemicals in the brain similarly to eating a significant amount of chocolate [1]. These hormones don’t just help improve your mood—they also act as natural pain relievers and can help reduce stress. Your smile doesn’t have to be genuine for it to produce these effects, but it certainly helps!

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Genuine Smile

It may sound counterintuitive, but your smile doesn’t have to be genuine in order for it to make a difference in your mood. Researchers found that people who smile, even if they aren’t necessarily feeling happy, start to feel happier and less anxious [2].

The reason for this is linked to the facial muscles that help create a smile. People will also perceive you as more positive and attractive than those who don’t smile as much. Forcing a smile stimulates the brain’s emotional center, which can encourage a more positive emotional state.

There Are Over a Dozen Types of Smiles

Researchers have identified between 15 and 20 types of smiles for all different emotions, so smiles don’t necessarily have to be linked to positive feelings. Smile types were divided into two categories—social smiles and genuinely happy smiles.

Social smiles can include those to be polite or those communicating embarrassment, while genuinely happy smiles are generally linked to a loved one [3]. So your smile doesn’t have to always be linked to happiness.

Smiling May Just Predict Longevity

A smile goes more than skin deep. Research shows that smiling may be a predictor in longevity [4]. People who smile more tend to be more positive and happier, have better cognitive and social skills, and have more satisfying relationships. All of these factors have been linked to a longer life. Smiling can also make other people feel good, which makes the act of smiling twofold—we might just feel more positive when smiling, and others may feel more positive too!

Discover the Benefits of Smiling

When was the last time you smiled? Even if there’s no one around, give it a try—smiling may help boost your mood, increase longevity, and help you feel more connected to others.

Sources:
1. https://online.uwa.edu/news/benefits-of-smiling-and-laughter/
2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2020/08/13/new-study-shows-forming-
a-simple-smile-tricks-your-mind-into-a-positive-workday-mood/?sh=34f16ddc2769
3. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-facts-about-smiling.html
4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797610363775

Summary
Smile—It’s Good for Your Health!
Article Name
Smile—It’s Good for Your Health!
Description
When was the last time you smiled? Even if there’s no one around, give it a try—smiling may help boost your mood, increase longevity, and help you feel more connected to others.
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Elite Prosthetic Dentistry