Smiling is almost rare these days. This is because of uncountable challenges caused by the pandemic and other global crises. Did you know there are some health benefits to smiling? Find out below why you should smile every day.
A smile is a form of one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed. In other words, the verb speaks of the action we do on our faces to reflect joy.
Admittedly, smiling is extremely easy and everyone can do it. But why is it hard sometimes? Probably because some people don’t know its benefits. No matter your difficulties whether professionally or family-wise, you can learn 4 effective advantages of smiling. After understanding this, a smile could be intentional.
These benefits are:
- Lower blood pressure
- Alleviates stress
- Better mood
- Reduces pain
We encourage you to try at least four of these tips every day for 1 month. We challenge you to update us on what you experienced.
1. Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is a medical condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.
Commonly called hypertension, any number above 140/90 ratio is considered severe. For example, 180/120 is a critical situation. Medical research says it can cause heart disease or stroke if untreated early.
Since our hearts’ health is imperative for our wellbeing, ensuring its stability cannot be ignored.
On the contrary, extensive research has confirmed that laughter can increase the heart and oxygen consumption levels. For instance, after we laugh our muscles relax, thereby causing a decrease in the blood and heart rate. Smiling can directly affect our blood pressure.
2. Alleviates stress
Everyone is experiencing stress in one way or the other. Google defines stress as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
The reasons for stress vary per person but the methods of resolving it are surprisingly the same. Smiling is a priceless way to deal with stress. This is how.
When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides which directly help fight off stress.
Further research has affirmed that other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins also come into play at the same time. Similarly, the endorphins act as a mild pain reliever. On the other hand, serotonin is an antidepressant. Though technical to understand, the summary is that if you deliberately smile regularly, you will be able to reduce the inevitable enemy stress.
3. Better mood
Everyone’s mood changes based on circumstances. Mood swings are almost uncontrollable for some people based on their temperaments. However, all moods can be managed.
A mood is referred to as a temporary state of mind or feeling. Undoubtedly, feelings are fickle so they cannot be dependable.
Based on lead researcher Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Center for Change and Complexity in Learning at the University of South Australia, the physical act of smiling not only creates internal positive feelings. It also caused participants to see the world around them in a more positive way.
It was confirmed via a fake replicated facial movement. That is, participants, faked smiles by holding a pen between their teeth, causing the corners of the mouth to lift. Even though participants’ smiles were faked, their brains didn’t know the difference, says Marmolejo-Ramos.
This goes to affirm that we can sustain a joyful mood or countenance if only we keep wearing smiles.
4. Reduces pain
Unavoidably, everyone has felt pain either emotionally, physically, or mentally. No one is able to prevent it but we can alleviate its negative effects.
Pain is said to be a signal in our nervous system that something may be wrong. It manifests itself in several unpleasant feelings, such as a prick, tingle, sting, burn, or ache. Equally, it can be sharp or dull. Typically, it may be inconsistent, or it may be consistent.
According to research done by the Zurich University, laughter and humor can increase pain tolerance. This indirectly improves the quality of life. The results added that humor and a positive outlook help control pain by releasing endorphins. As a result, this relieves muscle tension, some Swiss researchers suggest.
The bonus point is that smiling is contagious. Every normal person will respond to a smile with a smile. It naturally makes the world a better habitable place for everyone. From childhood, some babies start smiling before they can even recognize their parents.
In summary, whether in pain or stress, our determination to smile daily will birth tremendous health benefits. It is possible to lower your blood pressure and improve your mood if you choose to smile regularly. It is only a choice to make. We encourage you to adopt it as a habit. It will be easier after 2 weeks of consistent practice.
Written by Sarah Namondo. L