The act of smiling is part of a universal language that everyone understands. When someone cries, they are sad or hurt; when someone laughs, they felt something was funny; and when someone smiles, they are happy or being friendly. No matter where you are in the world, a smile will always be welcomed and understood.
But could smiling have more health benefits than we thought?
Health Benefits of Smiling
According to NBC News, “science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.”
Smiling triggers the body to produce serotonin and dopamine resulting in an elevated mood. Not only are these chemicals part of the recipe for happiness, they may also play a part in boosting the immune system.
In one study, participants were separated into two groups, and both exposed to a virus. The first group was exposed to happiness-inducing stimuli and the second group was not. The results of the experiment showed that the group not exposed the happiness-inducing stimuli experienced higher infection rates than the other, leading some scientists to suggest that happiness can have an impact on one’s immune system.
This is just one study of many to suggest a link between those who are unhappy and those with weaker immune systems.
In addition to boosting immune systems, smiling has also been scientifically linked to:
- lowering heart rate
- lowering blood pressure