A smile. A free accessory that is never going to go out of style. So why don’t we use it more often?
But what about when we’re not having a grand ole time? What about when a smile is the furthest thing from our mind?
Whenever I’m in bad mood and sporting a frown, the last thing I want to hear is, “Smile, things can’t be that bad, can they?” Usually they’re not. But that’s not for an outsider to decide. Or is it?
As I grew older I began to think, why not try out a smile when I’m feeling down? At least other people won’t bother me. What could it hurt? It’s just a smile. The results created a philosophical question. I’m not kidding.
After a rough afternoon, I decided to throw caution to the wind and spread a big smile on my face. Soon my mood began to lift. Almost…magically. I began to look at the brighter side and could almost laugh off a few of the bad elements of the day. This sparked the ago old, chicken or the egg questions:
What came first: The Smile or the Good Mood?
Turns out, the basic act of smiling has very effective powers over our mental and physical health. After doing some research, I found some neat facts about the benefits of smiling.
5 Benefits of Smiling:
1. Smiling Lowers Stress and Releases Endorphins
It has been reported that stress is as bad for you as obesity or high blood pressure and that nearly 3/4 of Americans suffer physically from daily stress. Not good, right?
But those same researchers are learning that one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to relieve stress is by smiling. When you smile, your body releases endorphins, the chemicals that make you happier. These are the same chemicals released during physical activity.
Get that same beneficial high by smiling throughout the day. Feel you body calm down. Happy people do live longer!
2. Smiling strengthens your immune system and lowers your blood pressure
Proving that a smile can lengthen your life, studies also show that smiling strengthens your immune system stronger by making your body produce more white blood cells to help fight illnesses. It’s also been proven that smiling will lower your blood pressure. Try it out at home, if you have a monitor. Take a blood pressure reading. Then pause for a few minutes smile for an entire minute and take a second reading while you are still smiling. I bet you’ll see a difference!
3. You’ll be more approachable
First impressions are immeasurable. You know the phrase, “Put your best face forward”? Use your smile to attract new friends, put people at ease, get people to trust you and be a better leader.
A smile is an open invitation to engage and interact with you. Don’t close yourself off from opportunities and experiences.
4. Smiling is contagious
You know how when you see someone in the same room as you take a big long yawn you can’t help but do the same? Well the same goes with smiling. When you see someone else smile, the area in your brain that controls facial movements is activated and your start to grin yourself.
Who wouldn’t want to spread happiness around and draw people in? Especially in bad or stressful situations, one smile can lead others to follow suit, encouraging a more relaxed and healthier way to deal with the communal stress.
5. Smiling makes you more flexible and comfortable
True, my blog name has the word “adventure” in it, but I more often find myself sticking to things that are in my comfort zone. Although I love trying new things, sometimes my anxiety gets the better of me. But studies show that if you simply smile while doing uncomfortable things or during awkward situations your anxiety levels can go way down.
Wow, those are a lot of benefits all from one little smile.
So will you try to smile more throughout the day? Especially in situations where a smile is the last thing on your mind?
Remember, it’s hard to recall all the negative thoughts when a smile is telling our body that life is pretty awesome!