Has someone ever smiled at you and it gave you a warm feeling inside? Do you automatically smile back at them? Does your mood change for the better? Smiling is a contagious mood changer. There are positive health benefits of smiling.
The body’s natural response to smiling is relaxation and a euphoric feeling. Other benefits of smiling include:
1. Lowers heart rate (especially in situations like fear, anxiety, or anger when the heart rate is increased)
2. Reduces stress
3. Boosts the immune system
4. Releases endorphins and serotonin (these are the neurotransmitters responsible for the euphoric feeling we have during eating, exercise and sex that give us a feeling of well being)
5. Smiling acts as a natural face lift
“A smile is a frown turned upside down”——Unknown
Smiling vs. Frowning
Have you ever heard the saying, “You use more muscles to frown than to smile?” This is true. The face has 47 muscles. Although it is impossible to pin point how many muscles different expressions involve, it is safe to say less are used to smile than to frown. With all the benefits of smiling mentioned earlier, I will take a smile over a frown any day.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”—–Dr. Seuss
“Peace begins with a smile” —-Mother Teresa
World Smile Day, The Health Benefits of Smiling
Written by Anthea G. Noel, RN BSN SANE
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