4 Ways Smiling Boosts Your Health

We’ve all heard that smiling can make you feel better when you’re upset. Although it sounds a bit too simple to be true, studies have shown that smiling actually does improve your mood and outlook. In fact, there are numerous other health benefits your can achieve just by flashing your pearly whites.

Here’s just four ways smiling can benefit your health.

#1: Smiling Reduces Pain

When you smile, endorphins (“feel-good” hormones) are released into your bloodstream. These are like nature’s painkillers, and there are no negative side-effects. Interestingly, the muscles you use to smile are linked to your brain’s hormone regulation system, so it is actually the smile itself that releases endorphins, not the mood behind it.

Our brains are hard-wired to link smiling with positive energy, so even a disingenuous smile will send these euphoric chemicals through your body. So whenever you can, it will do your body good to turn that frown upside down!

#2: A Smile Can Reduce Stress

In addition to making you feel good, endorphins are also a natural stress reliever.

A study conducted by the University of Kansas tested the heart rates of 169 students while they performed a stressful task. Each was told that it was an experiment in multi-tasking.

One group was instructed to hold a chopstick in their mouth to create a neutral mouth, another was instructed to bite down on the chopstick in a way that forced a smile, and the last group was told to maintain an authentic full-face smile during the task.

The researchers discovered that that the students with the genuine smiles maintained the lowest heart rate (felt the least amount of stress) followed by those with the chopstick-forced smile. The students with the neutral expressions had the highest heart rates.

The results of this study indicate that the physical act of smiling reduces the negative effects of stress in the body.

#3: A Smile Can Boost Your Immune System

The dual benefits of having a better mood and less stress has a profound cumulative impact on your health. It can strengthen your immune system, making you more resilient to illness.

In fact, the reduced number of stress-induced cell mutations means that heightened endorphins in your body can reduce your chances of getting cancer.

#4: Smiling Increases Longevity

Smiling doesn’t just make you look younger, healthier, and more attractive; it can also add years to your life. Research has shown that making smiling a habit can add up to seven years to your lifespan!

Unfortunately, adults only smile about 20 times per day, while children easily smile 400 times per day! Children are naturally uninhibited and have not yet developed self-esteem issues regarding their appearance.

If you are not smiling because you are self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, contact Island Family Dental to help you achieve a smile you can be proud of…your health depends on it!

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