how smiling effects the brain.

How smiling effects the brain

You’re never fully dressed with out a smile…but how does smiling effect the brain?

Ever notice that a smiling person is often surrounded by others?

Studies show that a simple smile can instantly change your mood, and others around you. In fact, we naturally want to get to know more about a person who smiles and emotionally detach from a person who frowns. Smiles are contagious, like tickling or yawning. So, how does smiling effect the brain?

Biology of Smiling

It’s easy to explain. Biologically, smiling releases hormones that produce pleasant sensations, whereas scowling releases ‘feel bad’ hormones such as cortisol.  This helps us to deal with the stress of a frown. When we smile, our entire body and presence sends out “life is good!” messages to others.   It’s no wonder studies show that smiling people exude more confidence, are more likely to gain others’ trust and be promoted at work.

Smiling also has numerous benefits to our physical, mental and emotional health, and therefore our relationships. Here are 7 reasons why we should try to smile…

7 reasons we need to smile

  1. A smile is a natural ‘drug’ with healing effects on the body in that it releases healing hormones, such as feel good serotonin and pain lowering endorphins.
  2. Lots of smiles not only makes us feel better, they also makes us appear younger. The muscles used to smile are ones that lift the face, thus smiling throughout the day provides a natural face-lift – and it’s free!
  3. A smile can lower your blood pressure.
  4. Smiling can increase clarity of mind and help us make better decisions, optimal choices and goal-achieving actions.
  5. As well as strengthening and boosting our immune system, due to its power to restore balance smiling relax the autonomous nervous system. Therefore, the practice of frequent smiling can offer protection from disease and serious illness. It may also help to prevent colds and flu.
  6. A smile is a great way to change your overall outlook on life to a positive one and this provides proven protection from depression and anxiety. 
  7. A smile grows and maintains healthy relationships with others by being contagious – when we smile our friends tend to smile too!

There’s lots to smile about – the evidence is clear!

Smiles improve our quality of life, health and relationships. So, if you don’t feel like you have much to smile about, why not start to smile consciously and deliberately.  You can train your mind and body to get used to being a smiler….and if it’s not natural for you right now – fake it until you make it!

 

Want to read more from Happy Minds Psychology Blog? click here 

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