7 Benefits of Smiling and Laughing – While smiling and laughing can be beneficial to your health, as a child grows into an adult, you frequently lose the habit of engaging in these behaviors. A good example of this is a children’s playground, where you frequently see children running around, constantly laughing and smiling as they enjoy living in the moment, while parents sit around the perimeter, filled with the stresses of modern life, with the occasional grin breaking their otherwise serious facial expressions. Adults can benefit from following children’s lead and making more space in their lives for smiling and laughter.
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Numerous studies have demonstrated that smiling and laughing have a variety of health benefits. Along with improved health, these straightforward facial expressions and common human behaviors can have a noticeable positive effect on a variety of other aspects of your life. When you smile or laugh, a number of physiological changes occur in your body, most of which occur subconsciously.
1. When you smile, neurotransmitters called endorphins are released.
These are triggered by facial muscle movements, which are interpreted by the brain, which then releases these chemicals. Endorphins are responsible for our happiness and also contribute to stress reduction. Faking a smile or laugh works just as well as the genuine article—the brain makes no distinction between the two because it interprets the facial muscles’ position in the same way. This is commonly referred to as the facial feedback hypothesis. The more frequently we stimulate our brain to release this chemical, the happier and more relaxed we feel.
2. Endorphins make us feel better and help us cope with stress.
Additionally, they function as the body’s natural analgesics. For chronic pain sufferers, laughing and smiling can be extremely beneficial in pain management, as can laughing off the pain of a bumped elbow or a fall.
3. While endorphin release is increased, the stress hormone cortisol is decreased.
Cortisol is more active when we are stressed or anxious, contributing to the unpleasant feelings we experience; by lowering it, we can alleviate these negative emotions.
4. Laughing expands the lungs, stretches the body’s muscles, and helps maintain homeostasis.
This exercises the body, replenishing the cells with oxygen from a lungful, and reaping all of the benefits of exercise.
5. A good laugh can be a powerful way to let go of negative emotions.
A good laugh can assist you in releasing emotions, particularly those that have been bottled up inside. Everything appears to be a little bit brighter after a good laugh, and life can be viewed more optimistically. Smiling and laughing also have beneficial social consequences.
Smiling is an endearing expression that is more likely to attract people to you than to repel them.
Smiling increases your approachability. Interaction with others is made easier and more enjoyable when smiles and laughter are shared, and these behaviors are contagious, uplifting others and making you a more appealing and attractive person to be around. This will have a beneficial effect on your overall well-being.
7. A cheerful, optimistic disposition will serve you well in life.
This is especially true in stressful situations such as job interviews: a cheerful, relaxed demeanor demonstrates confidence and the ability to cope well under duress. This will also benefit your career, as you will develop healthy relationships with colleagues and will be viewed positively by your employers.
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