Smile, your simple prescription for health or at least one of the three parts. Today I’m talking more about why smiling is so very important for our health and happiness. Let’s turn that frown upside down. Here are lots of reasons to smile more, Please try it. After all smiling is free, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Chemical Changes When We Smile
Smiling causes several chemical changes in our body. It’s quite remarkable really that just changing the arrangement of the muscles in our face can do so much. It causes the feel-good hormones Dopamine, Endorphins and Seratonin to be released into our bodies. Thess can relax us a little just like having a glass of wine or your favourite Gin and Tonic. The plus side is that there are no legal limits on smiling and driving, smiles are free and we don’t end up with a hangover.
We also release more Neuropeptides when we smile. These improve the signalling in our bodies and brains causing many of the changes you see below. Some of the negative chemicals in our bodies are reduced at the same time. Smile, Your Simple Prescription For Health.
Body Benefits of Smiling
- Better Imume system, Apparently our white blood cells which defend us from germs and bacteria are given a boost when we smile
- Lower Blood Pressure, Those of us who smile often tend to have lower blood pressure. This is possible because we are more relaxed. Lower blood pressure means less risk of strokes and other nasty diseases.
- Pain Relief, Some of the chemicals we release when smiling are our natural painkillers. In pain then try watching a favourite comedy film or program on the TV, it should help.
- Longer Life Those of us with better immune systems and lower blood pressure are likely to live longer. Not only that our longer lives will be happier as we are smiling.
- Look Better. Apparently, the human eye sees the wrinkles and the lines caused by smiling in the same way. So when we smile our wrinkles are hidden and we look more youthful.
Mind Benefits of Smiling
- Improved Mood. This one might seem obvious but it’s not as simple as it seems. We know when we smile it is because of a good mood but did you know we can ” Fake it to make it”. The simple physical act of smiling brings many of the benefits seen here so just lift the corners of your mouth and smile.
- Stress Relief A good smile is very stress relieving and relaxing. This is the effect of the endorphins on our parasympathetic nervous system.
- More Creative There are numerous anecdotes to show that a better more mood leads to creativity. Smile you may be the next Pablo Picasso or William Shakespeare. I look forward to seeing your artwork or listening to your musical compositions.
- Better Memory and Learning Caused by the increasing Neuropeptide release our brains become better and learning and remembering things. Getting forgetful try smiling more and see if your memory improves – nothing to lose after all. Have you exams to study for? Perhaps taking a smiling brake will help the learning along.
Social Benefits of Smiling
- Improved Friendships / Relationships Smile and the World Smiles with you. When you smile at your friends and loved ones they are likely to smile back. This gives them all the benefits of smiling too. What a great gift you have given them.
- Better Communications We know that a lot of our communication is non-verbal. A smile is one of the most powerful non-verbal clues we have. Not only that it is always a positive sign. A smile is signalling positivity in our communications.
- More Attractive It’s a well-known fact that we look better and are perceived as more attractive when we smile rather than having a grumpy face. Smile, Your Simple Prescription For Health.
- More Trustworthy Studies have shown that those who smile are seen as more open and trustworthy than deadpan faces. Apparently, the smile needs to be genuine though as fake smiles don’t tend to crinkle around the eye like genuine smiles do.
Want a genuine smile right now?
One immediate way to make you smile is to watch baby animals playing. Here is one of my favourites
Or how about watching one of your favourite cartoons? I love Simons Cat:
Or how about this wonderful poem by Spike Milligan?
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected
Smile, Your Simple Prescription For Health
Heres a list of things to do to make us smile more often.
- Playing with babies, Babies and young children are natural smilers. we are born to smile. It helps creates the bond between mother and baby. Play with an infant and their happy smiles will soon get you happy too.
- Watching comedy films or listening to comedy shows on the radio. If you have the choice between horror and comedy pick comedy for a better life. Wise choices like this will improve your chances of smiling.
- Dancing to your favourite music. It’s difficult to dance with a smile. As they say, Dance like no one is watching.
- Laughter Yoga. Have you tried a laughter yoga class yet? Its not physical poses like in Hattha yoga but a series of exercises to make you laugh and smile. You are absolutely guaranteed to feel better at the end.
- Phone a Friend A catch up with a friend on the phone or even better over a cup of tea is one of the best ways to make us smile. This was according to research by Tetley tea so I suppose they would say that but it also may be true.
- Making others smile Send a pretty card to someone, do a good dead or a random act of kindness. If you make someone else smile then you may catch it from them.
This list is far from exhaustive. What is your favourite thing to make you smile? Do pop a comment below to let me know or over on the YogaLadies Facebook page. Whatever makes us smile, let’s do it more often as Smile, Your Simple Prescription For Health.