Does Smiling Really Help You Live Longer? - Rivertea Blog
Monica Munteanu | On 15, Jun 2013
It takes 46 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile. We do it when we’re happy or we’ve heard something funny. It occurs when we see a person that we love or win a competition. Besides the fact that it comes natural, there are numerous other benefits to smiling.
Smiling does more than just tell other people that you’re happy. It helps your body function better, improves your health, your stress level and it makes you more attractive. So it can have a great impact on your wellbeing, your social life and even professionally.
Haven’t we convinced you yet? Here are 7 amazing reasons why you should smile more often:
1. It boosts your immune system
While smiling, your body relaxes and so your immune system reacts more quickly and effectively against invaders. The Department of Clinical Immunology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine found that, when smiling, the serum cortisol levels (stress level) decrease and, instead, the number of white blood cells and natural killer cells increases. So if you want to fight off a nasty cold in the future, forget going to the pharmacy. Just smile!
2. It helps you live longer
It’s not just about fighting off a runny nose. A study from London University College stated that happy, cheerful people are 35% more likely to live longer. Smiling lowers the heart rate and reduces blood pressure, while relaxing your body. Researchers from Wayne State University, Michigan looked at 230 pictures of major league baseball players from 1952. They found that the biggest grinners lived to an average of 79.9 years, while their straight-faced peers reached just 72.9 years on average. Guess this was the elixir of life, all along.
3. It’s a natural beauty enhancer
They say the best make-up a woman can wear is her smile. People who smile seem more approachable and, thus, more charming to the opposite sex. A study from 1985 examined how men approached women in bars: when a woman made eye-contact she was 20% approachable, while adding a smile made her 60% more accessible. It also makes you look an average of 3 years younger. The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear youthful. No more cosmetic surgeries for you.
4. It’s a natural pain killer
It has been proven that smiling is a natural drug. Researches from Oxford University found that it can act as a pain reliever, as it releases endorphins and serotonin. Also, chuckling helps increase pain threshold. You can get high on a smile.
5. It releaves stress
Is there a deadline right around the corner or house work catching up on you? Forget about it and smile. It’s the best way to reduce stress caused by an upsetting situation. Even if you don’t feel like it, forcing a smile is still enough to lift your mood. What happens is that it sends signals to your brain and tricks it into thinking you’re actually feeling good. Also, if you don’t smile you’ll feel bad afterwards. In one study people were asked to remain stony-faced after hearing someone else’s good news. They felt bad afterwards and thought the other person would think worse of them as a result. Turn that frown upside down and brighten up your day!
6. It’s contagious
If you want to make someone feel better make them smile. Or better yet, smile at them! Half of the people will send you one back. Researches at Uppsala University conducted a study where they had volunteers look at pictures of expressionless, happy or angry faces and in return adopt one of those expressions. When they had to meet a smile with a frown or the other way around they had trouble doing so. The twitching in their faces that was measured with electronic equipment showed that they had no control over their muscles. That’s why it’s hard to be sad when the people around you are laughing or happy when everyone is depressed.
7. The way to success
Smiling can help you make more money and move up career wise. It makes you appear confident, professional and self-assured. Those who smile at their colleagues and customers are more likely to get promoted, be approached with business ideas or get a raise. Studies have shown that people who smile seem more trustworthy, are rated higher in generosity and extraversion. Don’t forget to take your smile with you everywhere you go!
Smile and the whole world will smile with you – now we really understand what they meant by that. Keep your smile with you so you can live a happy life.
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