How Smiling Affects Health
Annie said it best when she said that you’re never fully dressed without a smile. When you’re smiling, you automatically feel a spring in your step, a lightness in your life, and guess what? You probably brighten the days of everyone around you, too!
The fact is that a smile is the best medicine, and studies are increasingly proving that point. In many ways, these revelations make sense. You know you feel great when you smile, you’ve just never thought about why before. Well, let us take that burden off your mind by considering the following ways that we now know smiling can boost your health.
# 1 – Send your mood soaring
We all feel better when we smile. According to the experts, that’s because smiling releases a cocktail of feel-good chemicals, including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins while frowning can actually damage your mood.
# 2 – See ya stress!
Experts have also found that individuals who smiled in the face of stress had much lower heart rates than those who didn’t. In large part, this is because smiling can greatly influence feelings of positivity, even if it’s forced. All those feel-good chemicals don’t hurt, either.
# 3 – Letting you live longer
So far we’ve cited some pretty amazing benefits, but a longer life? Surely that’s a step too far? Or not. In fact, a study in 2010 found some pretty compelling links between smiling more often and a longer lifespan. Admittedly, more research is necessary to confirm these findings, but with all the other benefits on this list, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try!
# 4 – An immune boost
According to a study by WebMD, smiling, or more specifically laughter can increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Further studies suggest that this is due to the release of those very same neurotransmitters that help you to stay so relaxed.
# 5 – Lower blood pressure, anyone?
Smiling, and laughing, have also been found to lower blood pressure. In some ways, this ties in with the whole slower heart rates in the face of stress, but it deserves a mention of its own. Namely, studies have shown that laughter leads to relaxation and decreased heart-rate/blood pressure after an initial increase in heart rate and an influx of oxygen.
# 6 – Natural pain relief
Remember those chemicals we spoke about? Well, it’s also worth noting that they can create natural pain relievers in the body, meaning that smiling quite literally stands to reduce pain levels. Forget reaching for a paracetamol – just smile that headache away!
# 7 – You’re looking young today
Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, the muscles we use to smile naturally lift the face, meaning that over time, we automatically look younger. Studies have also shown that, when given photos of smiling faces, participants automatically assumed the models were younger than their actual ages.
# 8 – Increasing your endurance
Sports pros like Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington have long understood the power of smiling for improved training and stamina, and various studies have backed this point, proving that even just seeing smiling faces on a screen during a treadmill session can keep people running for longer.
# 9 – Goodbye isolation
Isolation can be as bad for our health as smoking, with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke. By making us more approachable, smiling helps here too, improving existing relationships, and generally ensuring that, whatever we do, we don’t do it alone.
# 10 – General mental wellbeing
Now used as a therapy in some of the world’s best psychology institutions, smiling and laughter also help patients to work through a range of mental issues including depression, psychosis, and more. So, if all else fails, keeping a smile on your face is one of the best things you can do for your mental wellness.
Boston Dental: Always helping to put a smile on your face
Smiling really is the best medicine. Unfortunately, one in four adults report not smiling because they’re embarrassed of showing their teeth due to tooth loss, discoloration, or other visible issues.
Here at Boston Dental, we believe that you deserve to smile and enjoy every single one of these benefits. That’s why we offer a range of services in our world-class, multi-speciality dental center to ensure you maintain a smile you can be proud of, including –
- Dental implants
- Oral surgery
- And more
Let us put a smile on your face by contacting us at 617-338-5000 today.