Smiling as a Superpower

The biological ripple effect on yourself and the world around you

Never underestimate the power of a smile. Especially during this time of mandated mask-wearing it's more noticeable than ever how important a role smiles play in our lives.

Smiling not only offers a mood boost but helps our bodies release feel-good hormones such as serotonin and endorphins that dish out some solid health benefits, including:

  • Blood pressure regulation

  • Increased endurance

  • Reduced pain and stress levels

  • Strengthened immune system

So, what happens when you smile anyway? And I don't just mean by way of lighting up the room or brightening up someone's day. What's the biological effect of a smile?

Well, to start, the brain immediately releases stress-fighting molecules called neuropeptides. From there other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins come out to play; endorphins acting as a mild pain reliever and serotonin as an antidepressant.

Through those natural chemical responses alone, studies have shown that smiling can help to reduce the heart rate and recover faster from stress-induced fight or flight mode flare-ups.

And the benefits of a smile aren't just limited to yourself, you subconsciously-caring-for-others smiley pants, you. There are great rewards to be reaped through simply seeing someone else smile!

During those exchanges, the reward center of the brain is lit up in the smilee, also increasing endorphins; and whether or not they're immediately aware, their energy level gets a big ol' boost, too.

"Every time you smile at someone it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." -Mother Theresa

There's even a study that supports the findings that when someone receives a smile, they basically have to try to not smile back. It's an infectious loop! Medicinal, some might say.

By Sam Jump

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#smile #healing #mentalhealth #medicine #antidepressant

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