He who laughs, lasts.” – Mary Pettibone Poole
Do you want a guaranteed easy way to improve your mood and your health? Try smiling.
Dr. William Fry, a physician and researcher, has studied humor for 20 years and found — that it is good for us — not only for our mood but for our health as well. Laughter relieves stress and improves our immune system. Laughing has been described as an internal jog; massaging our inner organs and giving them a workout. Smiling exercises 14 facial muscles. When we laugh our blood pressure goes up and then comes down. We also stretch our lungs, relax our chests, and breathe easier. Laughter causes our bodies to release neurochemical compounds associated with an improved mood. When we can laugh at something, we change our perspective and our attitude. It is hard to have a grumpy outlook when laughing. As we laugh, we momentarily distract ourselves from our problems and, perhaps, even from our physical discomfort. Life just seems to get better when we can laugh.
How frequently do you laugh? How often do you smile? Research has found that four-year-old children smile and laugh about 400 times a day while for adults smiles and laughter decrease to only 14 times a day. Four-year-olds are often joyous, and adults are not. What happens between childhood and adulthood? What is the difference? Maybe, as we become serious, hard-working adults, we lose our sense of humor along with the freedom to laugh. Such a loss is unfortunate because humor can be healing.
Now you may say that you don’t have much to laugh about, and this may be true. It is hard to force yourself to laugh, especially, when you don’t feel like it. You can, however, make yourself smile. Forcing yourself to smile may work almost as well as laughing, at least, for changing your mood. Putting a big smile on your face sends a message to your brain that things are — okay. If you are smiling, your brain thinks, “I must be happy.” You can fool yourself into feeling good by smiling. As your mood improves, you open yourself to new possibilities. Other people, noticing the change, respond differently to you, and soon you may be laughing as well as smiling. Life is getting better because you smiled.
Be sure you smile today. Smile on purpose, even if you don’t feel like it. See if you can fool yourself into a good mood. As the saying goes, “Fake it until you make it”. Intentionally, smile. Laugh, if you can. Humor is good for you. It improves your mood and health. Practice smiling and see if your life doesn’t begin to go better.
1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive
We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away — but a smile draws them in (avoid these smile aging habits to keep your smile looking great).
2. Smiling Changes Our Mood
Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.
3. Smiling Is Contagious
When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.
4. Smiling Relieves Stress
Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action.
5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System
Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.
6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure
When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin
Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.
8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger
The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.
9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful
Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.
10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive
Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.