Smiles seem to have a life of their own. They tend to pop on our faces naturally as a spontaneous response to positive feelings... like joy, satisfaction, pride, love and much more. When we feel good, we smile. But did you know the reverse is also true? When we smile, we feel good. The act of smiling itself can actually trigger positive feelings and emotions. Smiling can help us feel happier.
Studies show that mood tends to align very closely with the messages expressed on our faces. When we smile, it causes the brain to release hormones that stimulate positive emotions. Putting a smile on your face starts a chain reaction that can help elevate a bad mood and lead to genuine feelings of happiness, joy, or amusement.
Smiling is good for our overall health, too. Smiling relaxes the body, which helps reduce stress and lessens the body’s unhealthy responses to stress. Studies have credited smiling for slowing heart rate and lowering blood pressure. There’s even evidence smiling can support and strengthen the immune system. Some people find that smiling helps increase endurance and lessen pain.
The benefits of smiling can extend from one person to another as well. There’s a contagious aspect to a smile, similar to that of a yawn. If you smile at people, the odds are reasonably high they’ll smile back. And, when they do, it’s likely to make them feel pretty good, too.
Getting in the habit of consciously smiling on a regular basis has the potential to boost our quality of life. It certainly won’t hurt. Let’s all try sprinkling a few smiles around here and there throughout the day and see what happens.