Smiling and laughter are beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being. Smiling has well-documented social benefits. A genuine smile can make you seem more likable, attractive, intelligent and even trustworthy. But did you know that smiling more often—regardless of your mood—can improve your health and help you live longer?
Research has shown that there a number of health benefits contributed to smiling and laughing. In addition to improved health, these simple facial expressions and common human behaviors can have a distinctive positive affect on other factors all areas of your life. When you smile and laugh, a number of physiological changes occur in your body, mostly without you being consciously aware of it happening.
There are a variety of benefits from smiling, including some health benefits too:
Improved Mood- Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue, and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. Making yourself smile when you’re feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts.
Lower Blood Pressure- Smiling and laughing more appear to help lower your blood pressure, which is good news for your heart health. Laughter causes an initial increase in heart rate, followed by a period of muscle relaxation and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Stress Relief- As smiling can result in a lower heart rate, so the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Cortisol is more active when we feel stressed or anxious and contributes to the unpleasant feelings. Stress generally causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. So, maintaining a smile when stressed provides you with both psychological and physical health benefits.
Better Relationships- People who smile are perceived as being more likable than people who don’t smile. Being likable makes it easier to build and maintain better relationships with people, which is important for your overall health and well-being. So, keep a smile on your face to help create stronger, healthier social bonds.
Pain Relief- Smiling and laughter both have been shown to lessen pain. They release endorphins that lift our moods. Endorphins make us feel happier and less stressed. They also act as the body’s natural pain killers. For sufferers of chronic pain, laughing and smiling can be very effective in pain management.
Longevity- The effects of a good smile extend past just the exterior good looks. People who smile more often live longer too, around 7 years longer than most according to one study. It releases stress, helps the heart, and much more to keep you healthy longer.
Contagious- Smiling can be contagious! Around 50% of people smile back. This spreads the health benefits throughout those around you and it comes back to you several times as well.
Build Attraction- Smiling makes people more attractive. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away. Smiling makes you appear more approachable.
Earn Success- A smile can appear confident, self-assured, and on top of your work. A happy, positive expression will serve you well in life.This is particularly true for challenging situations such as job interviews: a smiling, relaxed persona indicates confidence and an ability to cope well in stressful situations.
Stronger Immune Function- Smiling appears to help boost your body’s immune system. Laughter and positive thoughts release signaling molecules in your brain that fight stress and illnesses, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity. Even if you’re feeling blue, crack a smile and reap the numerous health benefits of smiling.
Studies suggest that smiling, forced or not, can have a positive effect on your mood, decrease stress levels, and even make everyone around you feel better.
So, maybe laughter really is the best medicine!
Happiness seems simple. We all experience it at some point or another. But when you think about it, happiness can be quite complicated. Emotions are a different experience for everyone, and each individual’s baseline- is determined by genes and personality traits. Circumstances and daily activities make up the rest of the puzzle.
The World Happiness Report is a survey and ranking of 155 countries by their level of happiness, taking into account six key indicators: Generosity, Freedom, Health, Trustworthy governance, Income and Social support.
The Happiest Places on Earth.
According to World Happiness Report, the happiest countries of 2017 are:
- New Zealand
America isn’t i the top 10. US ranks No. 14 on the list. Perhaps we can take some pointers from those happy Scandinavians!
Looking for ways to be happier?
Smiling, even when you don’t feel like it seems to affect positive change in your mood. Other few things are: To stream music, read inspiring articles, meditate, enjoy a nature walk, travel, spend quality time with your pet and reflect on something you’re grateful for at the end of every day. 🙂
These 7 essentials to improve self-health. To make positive changes in the seven key areas that influence health and wellness.
- Structure= Body and musculoskeletal health (massage, Acupuncture, Chiropractor)
- Diet & Nutrition= what you eat and drink (eat whole food not processed food. Drink water instead of Sodas)
- Digestion= having enzymes to digest food well and eliminating the waste products.
- Hormones= Balanced endocrine system. Especially for women health (PMS, menopause)
- Exercise= Activity is important
- Stress= manage emotional, physical and nutritional stress (from intake of artificial food)
- Thoughts= What you think about affects your health. You can’t have positive life with negative attitude.
8 Foods to boost your Mood and calm Nerves
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Spinach, kale and other dark greens are high in folate. Folate helps us to make serotonin and dopamine. Both of these are neurotransmitters that fight depression and stress.
Turkey is one of those foods that is linked to happy memories and that is good for us too! It is high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that shifts to serotonin in our bodies. When we eat foods high in tryptophan we are less likely to argue. Other foods high in tryptophan include cage-free eggs and pumpkin seeds.
- Foods that are fermented
We know you are thinking of wine and beer here, but let’s look elsewhere! When a food is fermented it contains good bacteria that can help boost your mood.Good choices include yogurt and kombucha tea.
- Wild caught salmon
Wild salmon is good for us for so many reasons, and it is a mood booster too. Salmon contains omega-3 fats that studies show helps cut anxiety by 20%.
Blueberries and blackberries both contain anthocyanins. These are what gives them their deep color. They also help the brain make dopamine, a good mood chemical. Blueberries also help us build more of the white blood cells that boost the immune system.
Did you know that these delicious nuts help to dilate your arteries? This means that you have less vascular constriction, and that means less stress on your heart.
- Dark chocolate
Chocolate makes us feel better for lots of reasons. In addition to its delicious taste, it also contains anandamide. This is a neurotransmitter that blocks pain and depression. One study showed that eating just 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day makes us feel calmer.
The delicious green fruit gives us loads of minerals and vitamins and healthy fat. It also keeps our moods steady by helping us to feel full and controlling our blood sugars.