THE SCIENCE OF SMILING
In dealing with Covid, vaccines, boosters and tests, we all have heard, "Listen to the science." I personally chose to. Others may choose not to. However, I want to let everyone in on why smiling is a science.
It actually turns out that smiling is not just good for your looks but scientific evidence proves smiling is good for our bodies and minds as well.
🙂 Smiles can lower our stress level. When smiling, the movement of our facial muscles release naturally feel-good endorphins which in turn trigger positive feelings. This can improve our moods and lower stress. I read that the smile does not even have to be real to be effective in order to reduce stress. It is the simple act of moving those facial muscles to release endorphins. The reason that was cited was that if you really are not feeling on the inside to give a smile, if you fake it outwardly then it will increase the inner smile. It is a mood lifter.
🙂 Here is a possible reason to go in to the doctor for an injection of Botox. If you have that injection and it makes it impossible to frown, a research team at the University of Cardiff, Wales found out that on the average, people were happier than those who could frown. Hmmmm, wondering if I should go in and get some smiling injection of Botox? Or should I stick with the quote from Mark Twain who said, "Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been." I will have to think on that one for a while.
🙂 Another study showed that both laughing and smiling encourages the release of another hormone called serotonin. Low levels can actually be associated with depression. Smiling can counteract this by increasing dopamine levels. Obviously, we need to raise our levels to improve our overall feelings. Definitely, if depression is a major problem, a doctor needs to be consulted. Walking around with a smile (fake or real) is not going to handle severe depression.
🙂 Smiling can boost our immune systems. It actually can make us more resistant to illness. Smiling is contagious, so by smiling, we are helping those around us. It is hard not to smile back at someone who is smiling (even a stranger). Just the act of smiling is stimulating to most humans. It can reduce pain and lower blood pressure. This in turn can help people live longer. A study that was done back in 1952 followed Major League Baseball players who had big smiles on their baseball cards. A large majority of those smiling faces lived longer compared to those who only partially smiled or did not smile at all. (5 - 7 years longer)
🙂 Smiling has been shown to help make for happier marriages, happier parenting, happier, happier, happier. Lives in general have genuinely more satisfaction when we smile more. I know for a fact that our two goldendoodles know the difference when we look at them and smile or if we look at them and tell them, "No," with no smile. If they listen and stop their misbehavior, they know a smile and a reward will come their way.
There will be times that it is not appropriate to go around with a smile on your face. Think about life circumstances and I think you will agree. Only to a certain point. Example: someone lost their job...are they going to walk out of the building smiling? I think not. They will take time to reevaluate what happened and maybe why...then it is time to pick yourself up and put on the smile and go forward.