Smile Your Way To A Better And Longer Life

Smile Your Way To A Better And Longer Life

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

How Smiling Affects Your Brain

Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.

For starters, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. The feel-good neurotransmitters – dopamine, endorphins and serotonin — are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure. The endorphins also act as a natural pain reliever. Finally, the serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as an anti-depressant/mood.

How Smiling Affects Your Body

You look better when you smile and this is not me just trying just trying to butter you up or make you feel good. When you smile, people treat you differently. You are viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed, and sincere. On the flip side, seeing an attractive, smiling face activates your orbitofrontal cortex, the region in your brain that process sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.

How Smiling Affects Those Around You

Are you actually aware that your smile is contagious? The part of your brain that is responsible for your facial expression of smiling when happy or mimicking another person’s smile resides in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area, so if you are smiling at someone, it is likely they can’t help but smile back. If they don’t, they’re making a conscious effort not to.

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