What Are The Health Benefits of Smiling?

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There has been a lot of talk recently about the impact of a positive mindset. You can change your whole life with a positive outlook, people seem to be saying. But is this true?

Sure, you’re never going to cure serious illnesses with an open mindset and daily affirmations, but, as it turns out, there are some health benefits to smiling.

Longer life

You might not believe it, but smiling can actually extend your life. In a study conducted in 2010, scientists found a link between genuine smiling and longer life

Happier people tend to live longer and more healthily. Whether the longer life was caused by lots of smiling and happiness, or the other way around, is up to you.

But genuinely, this study found that in maintaining a happy, positive outlook, people lived healthier lifestyles.

So, get smiling if you want to live to one hundred.

Better mood

Smiling automatically sets of a state in your brain associated with happiness. Try it out: the next time you are stressed or upset, plaster on a big smile. You’ll probably find that your mood is lifted, if only for a few seconds.

This is because, when you smile, pathways are activated in your brain that link to your emotional state. In a sense, by smiling, you can trick your brain into thinking you’re happy. Even if your smile is false, your brain will still think you are in the emotional state of happiness.

This triggers the release of happy hormones, like dopamine and serotonin. Smiling can act as a minuscule natural anti-depressant.

Stress-relief

In a study by the University of Kansas, psychologists found that smiling is able to physiologically reduce your stress levels. They conducted tests in which participants had to complete stressful tasks – holding their hand in a bowl of ice water for a minute; drawing a star with their non-dominant hand while looking in a mirror. Participants did this three ways: without smiling, with a small smile, and with a broad smile.

The study found that the physical indicators of stress were less noticeable when participants smiled.

So, the next time you’re stressed, whack on a big smile, and see if you feel less stressed.

Boosts the immune system

Smiling is thought to help the immune system. This is because, when you smile, endorphins aren’t the only thing your brain produces. Your brain will also release neurotransmitters. They are released due to the relaxed state your brain is in.

This state, and the neurotransmitters released actually improve your immune system. Therefore, when it comes up to cold and flu season, get ready to start smiling in preparation!

Look after your smile

Given these health benefits, it’s essential to keep your oral health the best it can be. If you haven’t recently, head over to a dentists like Wahroonga Family Dental Care, and get your teeth checked out.

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