October 1st is World Smile Day and below are 10 reasons why we should smile more:

Smiling Relieves Stress

One smile has the power to relieve signs of stress and anxiety because the levels of endorphins outweigh the level of cortisone (stress hormone) in the body.

This lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and promotes better circulation as well as relaxing muscles.

Contagious

Something as simple as a funny picture or memory can trigger the brain into entering a happier state of mind. Smiling is infectious, it emits positive vibes to you and others. Try it!

Boosts Immune System

Boost your immune system by smiling. Smiling releases proteins known as neuropeptides which fight against serious illnesses.

The more relaxed you are the better your immune system is.

May lower Blood pressure

Smiling could have a beneficial impact on your blood pressure. Laughter specifically seems to lower blood pressure, after causing an initial increase in heart rate and breathing. While smiling has been shown to lower your heart rate in the face of stress, more research is needed to determine exactly how it reduces blood pressure.

Elevates mood

When we smile our body releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin which help combat stress and sadness

Reduces pain

Smiling temporarily reduces minor aches and pain. Again, the endorphins act as the body’s natural painkillers with the ability to increase your pain threshold and tolerance.

Makes you attractive

We are naturally drawn to people who smile. People may even assume you have more positive personality traits if you’re smiling.

Smiling can also make you look more youthful. The muscles we use to smile also lift the face, making a person appear younger.

Suggests success

Research has shown that people who smile regularly appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and are more likely to be approached

Helps you stay positive

Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard, isn’t it?

Smiling can influence your feelings of positivity, even if it feels unnatural or forced. Regardless of whether your smile is genuine, it still sends the message that “Life is good!” to your brain and, ultimately, the rest of your body.

Helps you live longer

One 2010 study found that genuine, intense smiling is associated with longer life. Overall, happy people seem to enjoy better health and longevity, though more research is needed to understand why that is. Research does suggest that happiness could increase lifespan by years—suggesting maintaining a happy, positive mood may be an important part of living a healthy lifestyle.

Why not smile every day for the month of October and see the difference it makes to you!

Lee Avery, Bowen Therapist