There are all kinds of self-help journals and magazines out there with millions of “cures” for reducing stress. Usually they involve taking time out of your day, or removing yourself from your daily life to find a quiet space. While their suggestions are both true and useful, who has the time? Between a job, a life, and a family, you don’t have time to think, let alone take an hour out of your day to do yoga. But there is still something you can do to boost your mood and relieve stress that won’t take any time out of your day, has all kinds of proven mood and health benefits, and best of all, is free.
What is it, and how can it make your life better? The answer’s simple: smile! The benefits of smiling have been proven by study upon study, and it’s an effortless way to make yourself, and those around you feel better. So what exactly is so good about smiling?
Reduces stress: Believe it or not, smiling can actually reduce your stress levels. Smiling releases endorphins, and endorphins work to counteract stress hormones. It works with fake smiles too. Even if you’re not feeling it, just try smiling, and see what happens. Studies show that fake smiles can still have positive effects on your overall stress levels and mood.
Better mood: The endorphins released by smiling do more than just reduce stress too. They can actually boost your mood. Ever had a dreary day and something someone said made you laugh out loud or crack a grin? Did you feel better? That’s because those endorphins were working to make you feel better too.
Builds relationships: Smiling makes you seem more approachable to others. Studies have shown that when you smile, you project an image to other people that describes you as personable, empathetic, and easy going. That makes people want to talk to you, which helps build better relationships, both at work and at home.
Increases productivity: Studies have shown that people who smile more at work tend to be more productive, while those who work in negative environments tend to be more drained and less productive. This explains why a quick joke by the water cooler leaves you returning to your desk all pumped up to churn out your best work.
Smiles are contagious: Studies have shown that at least 50% of people compulsorily smile back at those smiling at them. You can’t help it, smiles are contagious. So, when you smile, other people smile back at you, and they’re likely to feel better too.
Boosts your immune system: Your immune system is affected by your general state of mind. We’ve all heard of people getting sick exactly when they were super busy at work or they were preparing for some stressful event. Well, smiling works in the opposite way, as it counteracts stress. Smiling actually helps your immune system function more productively. It relaxes your body, allowing your immune system to work as it should.
Lowers your blood pressure: This is another scientific one. Studies have been conducted that show that when you smile, your blood pressure starts to lower. We don’t know why exactly, but you can try it with your home blood pressure monitor, because it really works.
Makes you look younger: Studies have shown that smiling makes people seem younger and more attractive to others. Additionally, smiling lifts your face, making you appear much younger while you’re smiling. It’s like a natural face lift!
Makes you seem successful: Been dreaming of power and success, and been stressing over how to get it? Stress no more; it turns out smiley people tend to be more successful. Smiling makes you appear more confident, and those who smile a lot are more likely to be promoted and approached. Additionally, studies have shown that smiley people tend to function better in both relationships and the workplace.
Studies have also shown that people who have lost teeth or have poor oral hygiene feel less confident about smiling. The easy fix? See your dentist! We’re always accepting new patients, so schedule an appointment with Drs. Creason & Weber, and get that smile back into shape! You can call us at (616) 842-0822 or contact us online today!