Healthcare is big business. In 2017, the United States spent almost $3.5 trillion dollars on various over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs. While we all need medicine from time to time, there’s one form of treatment that costs nothing, and has many amazing benefits:
Health Benefits of Smiling
Have you ever smiled or had a good laugh and felt great afterwards? It wasn’t your imagination. Smiling can make you feel better, and can do much more. Here are a few awesome reasons to smile:
Smiling stimulates the production of endorphins, which send electrical signals throughout the entire nervous system. These signals help decrease the perception of pain in the same manner as codeine and morphine, making them our body’s natural pain-killers.
Strengthened immune system.
A hearty laugh can increase the production of immune cells in the body, as well as the powerful antibodies that fight off infection and disease.
In addition to relieving pain, smiling and a hearty laugh can release endorphins that help to improve mood and generate feelings of happiness and even euphoria.
Improved overall health. According to a recent study, laughter has been shown to have “physiological, psychological, social, spiritual, and quality of life benefits.1”
Helps relieve stress. Smiling can decrease a person’s heart rate, which could help them relax and calm down during stressful situations.
Lower blood pressure.
While smiling can lower a person’s heart rate, a recent study found that laughter caused an increase in heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen consumption. This is immediately followed by a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Researchers also note the use of laughter as an intervention is backed up by existing studies on its health benefits.2
Diabetes and blood glucose.
Laughter may have an effect on glucose levels: Studies indicate laughter can quicken the body’s utilization of glucose and suppress the elevation of glucose levels.3
Smiling increases the production of dopamine, which, in addition to happiness, plays a role in learning new things, processing information and making decisions. This allows a person to think clearer than those consumed with negative thoughts and feelings.
Even though a fake smile can generate many of the benefits listed above, here are activities that can help you generate a real, genuine smile:
- Watch your favorite movie
- Play with your pet
- Listen to your favorite song
- Take smiling selfie
- Watch a funny video on social media
- Do something nice for a stranger.
Smiling is a great way to improve your mood and reap many other fantastic health benefits as well. Make an effort to smile often every day. Your body will thank you!