Atlanta weather got you down?
We could all do with a bit of cheering up every now and then, so with research suggesting that all we need to do is smile, we look at how a simple facial expression could help lighten your mood.
Studies suggest that smiling, forced or not, can have a positive effect on your mood, decrease stress levels, and even make everyone around you feel better.
Here are some surprising benefits about smiling that will surely brighten your day:
- It’s easier to smile than to frown: Scientists have discovered that it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.
- Smiling relieves stress: Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that fight off stress hormones. The messages from the neuropeptide during a smile relaxes the body and can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Smiling can boost your mood and reduce pain: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better; and endorphins act as a natural pain reliever.
- Smiling can improve your immune system: Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
- Smiles are contagious: Mirror neurons cause an involuntary smile response at the sight of others’ smiles. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
So in the midst of dreary weather this week, I am throwing out a challenge: consciously increase your smile and laugh quota each day. A few good smiles can go a long way toward improving your general health and well-being.
Please share your progress with me on the Core Balance + Wellness Facebook page… What makes you smile? Did you increase your smile quota? Did you share your smile with others?
Are you having a hard time finding your smile? Check out the Puppy Bowl – you just can’t help but smile!