6 Reasons Why Smiling is Your Superpower
Smiling, isn't it the best? You instantly feel more relaxed and confident. But, did you know there are loads of hidden benefits to smiling?
This blog is going to give you 6 reasons why smiling is the best thing for your mind and body!
1. You Live Longer!
The stronger your smile is, the longer you live! Isn't that great news? How about you smile right now, just to make sure you have that extra longevity :)
If you are finding it hard to smile, here is a picture of my dog to help.
Now that we are done smiling, why don't we find out why we live longer?
Even though there hasn't been a lot of research done on this, a 2010 study shows a strong correlation between people who live longer and how intense their smiles are in photographs (plus many other factors).
The study suggested that being happy could make you live longer and have a healthier one too! Even if there is a very slight chance that this is true, it doesn't hurt to smile more often!
2. It Gives You An Endorphin Boost
You have probably heard of endorphins many times before but here is a quick explanation of what it is:
- Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are responsible for making us feel happy
- This chemical gets released when your brain thinks something good is happening (Like when you are about to start eating Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough. Yum!)
- Endorphins reduce cortisol levels (which are usually active when stressed/anxious)
Now you know what an endorphin is, I can now tell you that smiling releases a ton of them!
This is because your brain interprets your facial muscles moving and realises that something good is happening. And so, the brain starts creating chemicals that make you feel more relaxed and overall happier!
Can I fake a smile and still get that endorphin boost?
Yes! Your brain uses only the information from your facial muscles, so if you are smiling (even when you are not happy), your brain will start pumping out endorphins and you will feel happier. This is called the facial feedback hypothesis!
3. It's Easier To Make Friends
Now I'm going to hit you with a fact that should stay with you forever, and I mean it.
People who smile are perceived as being more likeable than people who don't. (according to this study)
Smiling helps you create those strong social bonds that help your personal wellbeing. This is because you are seen as more approachable, attractive and fun. And people who have more positive emotions have better interpersonal skills and therefore have more stable relationships compared to those with negative emotions. (same 2010 study)
It's a lot easier to break the ice or interact with someone when you smile first. Remember not to do an over-exaggerated smile or you might scare people off!
4. Get Pain Relief
Remember when we talked about endorphins? Well, they turn up again here when it comes to pain relief as they act as your natural pain killer. The more you laugh, the more endorphins are released and thus you can lessen the feeling of pain!
Did you know that laughing around others can also increase your pain threshold? Well, it's true! This 2012 study shows that we release our own painkiller when we include social laughter in our lives.
So, be around the people who make you laugh and the next time you stub your toe it might not be that bad!
5. You Feel Less Stressed
It makes sense. The more you smile, the less stressed you are. This is because smiling can actually lower your heart rate when doing something stressful (2015 study). And when your heart rate is lowered you feel less stressed.
The same goes for your blood pressure too! After an initial spike in heart rate from a funny joke, your muscles and blood vessels begin to relax and slow down which in turn lowers your blood pressure.
Plus, lowered blood pressure can allow you to lead a healthier and longer stress-free life :)
6. You Can Spread The Joy
Smiling is literally contagious, which is a good thing! Your smile will most likely make others around you smile.
The best part is that everyone can enjoy the benefits of smiling! So, why not make someone smile today?
There are so many more benefits, but to be honest we would both be here all day! So, here are some ways to smile more often!
How To Smile More Often
Okay, so there are all these benefits but how do I actually smile more often without looking weird?
Well, to start, watch something funny like a cheesy comedy or stand-up comedian. That's probably the quickest way to make you smile or even burst out laughing.
(I highly recommend the Australian TV show, Last One Laughing (LOL), where 10 comedians have to make each other laugh and the last one left standing wins $100,000!)
Try to find something to smile about, which might sound difficult but thinking of a funny past event or even making one up can bring about a smile.
Another way is to spend time with friends and family who make you smile, just make sure that they actually make you happy unless you might make yourself more miserable.
Lastly, try to fake a smile in the morning after you finish brushing your teeth and try to make it a habit because remember your brain can't tell the difference!
I'm not saying to smile at everything as there will be moments when it's not appropriate. But, try to crack a smile in situations you wouldn't usually, like giving someone a slight smile on public transport! (you never know, it might make their day)
Since you are still reading, I will throw in an extra reason why you should smile...
THE PRODUCTIVE PILGRIM IS NOW A YEAR OLD!!! WOO WOOO!
Thank you for reading and I am so grateful for you reading my blogs and this is only the beginning for my website :)