Mum was on to something when she said: ‘Smile, dear.’
It seems the very act of putting on a happy face is good for us! Here’s how:
It releases happy hormones
Whether you’re really happy or not, the act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you are, pumping out feelgood endorphins. A German study found that people felt happy just by holding a small pen clenched lightly between their teeth, imitating a smile.
Smiling reduces stress
Take deep breaths, smile and anxiety will reduce. When a smile signals to your brain that you’re feeling happy, your body slows its breathing and heart rate. Reducing stress can, in turn, lower blood pressure, aid digestion and regulate blood sugar. Struggling with those last five reps at the gym? Try a smile!
A smile leads to laughter
Not only does laughter act like a mini workout that burns kilojoules, scientists believe a hearty chuckle also helps blood flow, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces stress, improves sleep and boosts your immune system.
Smiling brings successPeople who smile a lot are better received by others and considered more attractive, while cheery restaurant workers tend to get better tips and more repeat business.