Studies have shown how important the simple act of smiling is for our general health and wellbeing. When you smile, neuropeptides and the feel-good neurotransmitters are released in the brain. Neuropeptides are nerve proteins that regulate almost all of the processes of your cells and the way cells communicate with each other. Neuropeptides influence your brain, body, and behavior in many major ways, from analgesia, reward seeking, food intake, metabolism, reproduction, social behaviors, learning and memory to helping negate stress, aiding sleep, and elevating mood. 1
The feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin — Can help not only relaxing your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure.2 The serotonin brought on by your smiling serves as an anti-depressant/mood lifter (5). Many anti-depressants like SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can also impact the levels of serotonin in your brain, but with a smile, no side effects, no prescriptions needed.
Due to the neuropeptides and neurotransmitters released when you smile, smiling can help you:
- Lower Stress3
- Make you happy
- Boost immune system4
- Lower heart rate and blood pressure
- Reduce pain
People find you more attractive when you smile.5
When you smile, you are viewed by others as more attractive, relaxed and trustworthy. So when you smile, people treat you differently.
With all these above mentioned fabulous benefits, doesn’t that make you want to smile?
- The best brain possible – How a Simple Smile Benefits Your Brain
- Psychology Today – There’s Magic in Your Smile
- Functionally distinct smiles elicit different physiological responses in an evaluative context. Jared D. Martin,1Heather C. Abercrombie,2 Eva Gilboa Schechtman,3and Paula M. Niedenthal1
- [“Does happiness help healing?” Immune response of hospitalized children may change during visits of the Smiling Hospital Foundation’s Artists].
- Beauty in a smile: the role of medial orbitofrontal cortex in facial attractiveness J. O’Doherty a,∗, J. Winston a, H. Critchley a, D. Perrett b, D.M. Burt b, R.J. Dolan a,c