Smiling – It came naturally to us since we were a baby. No one taught us how to smile. When we were a baby. We just smiled for everything and anything. We even smiled during our sleep. Our smile was genuine, innocent, and people around us felt happy just by seeing our smile. We did not have any kind of reservations about smiling. In the process of growing up, we learned other expressions like frown, seriousness, neutral look, etc., and reserved the usage of smile only for specific situations like posing for a pic or greeting someone.
As adults, we smile less when compared to children. Children smile as many as 400 times per day, and only 30% of adults smile more than 30 times per day.
How about becoming a child again and smiling in all seasons of life? How about smiling for no reason? Are there any benefits of smiling? Let’s see what the benefits of smiling are.
22 benefits of smiling
- Smiling reduces stress. Stress is harmful to physical, emotional, and mental health. When we smile, our body releases neuropeptides. These tiny molecules work towards stress relief and inducing calmness. So, smile whenever you are under stress. It not only reduces stress but also calms you down and gives you the strength to do the demanding tasks.
- When a person is under stress, heart rate, and blood pressure increase. When the person smiles, a feel-good hormone named endorphin is released. This hormone helps in lowering the heart rate and blood pressure.
- Smiling improves relationships. We, humans, are naturally drawn to people who smile more. When we smile more, we become more likable and trustworthy, and our relationships become better.
- Smiling makes us more friendly and approachable to others.
- When we smile, our body releases a hormone named serotonin. This hormone helps in reducing anxiety and depression.
- A British research found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation and pleasure as generated by eating 2000 bars of chocolate. And this research also found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as receiving 16,000 pounds of money. Do you want to feel as happy as receiving 16,000 pounds of money or 15 lakh rupees without doing anything? Then just smile. Your one smile is worth 15 lakh rupees. Amazing insight, isn’t it?
- When we smile, our body releases a hormone called dopamine. This hormone offers several benefits to us as below
- Smile improves memory and learning.
- It increases attention and focus
- It increases creativity
- It helps in strengthening bones
- It helps in reducing pain and inflammation
- It keeps us alert and awake during daytime
- Smiling improves lifespan. Research found that people who smile more have an increased life span of 7.2 years. So, smile more and live longer.
- Smiling makes the immune system stronger. When we smile more, the number of white blood cells and natural killer cells increases in the body. These cells protect us from infections.
- Smiling improves effectiveness in the workplace. Smiling in the workplace leads to greater productivity and teamwork.
- Smiling is a natural cosmetic that enhances the beauty of a person. Research found that smiling makes a person look three years younger.
- Smiling is a mood-enhancing exercise.
- Smiling is infectious. When you smile, people who see you automatically smile, and they too reap the benefits of smiling. So just by smiling, you will be helping others become happy and less stressed. Smiling is a great way to impact others positively.
- Smiling makes a person look more attractive and charming.
- It is said in the energy healing system, that, when a person smiles, the heart chakra is activated, and this brings inner peace and calmness.
- Smiling improves the quality of our life physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
These are some benefits of smiling. Many of us think that we need to smile only when we are happy, and it is not okay to fake a smile. Research also found that a fake smile is as beneficial as a genuine smile. When you smile, you become happy. So, don’t wait for a reason to smile. If you are feeling sad, angry, bitter, grumpy, tired, and bored, just smile. This simple act can help you feel better.
Smiling is one of the easiest exercises you can perform without spending much time or money. Below are some ways of incorporating smile in your daily life.
18 ways to incorporate smile in daily life
- When you are exercising, smile. This magnifies the benefits of exercising.
- When you are doing yoga, smile at the organ, which is being stretched or bent. This smile heals your body and helps you maintain awareness.
- When you are doing any boring activity, find ways to smile about it.
- You can practice inner smile meditation. This is a popular Taoist practice in which the practitioner smiles inwardly at each organ of the body. Below are the steps to practice the simplified version of this meditation
- Sit in a comfortable position – in a chair or on the floor – with spine erect
- Close your eyes
- Practice deep breathing for a minute and slow down your thoughts and emotions
- Smile gently.
- Start smiling at each organ of your body, starting from your head.
- Smile at each organ in your face.
- Smile at each organ in your upper body.
- Smile at your hands.
- Smile at your lower body.
- Smile at your legs.
- Smile at your entire body.
- You can continue smiling as long as you feel comfortable
- End this practice with a small prayer of gratitude.
- Smile at yourself while looking in a mirror