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Smile Therapy- Positive Effect on Health

"Life is like a mirror, smile at it and it smiles back at you"
There isn't any concrete evidence to back up the claim that smiling uses more muscles than frowning, we do know that smiling has certain tangible advantages. It's not always the most straightforward thing to do, especially after a demanding day. However, you'll actually feel better if you can force a smile on yourself.
No matter what you name it—a grin, smirk, beam, or smile—this joyful facial expression has a contagious positive energy. We all have the potential to grin, but as we become older, we do so less frequently.
According to research, children typically grin 400 times a day, as opposed to the typical adult's 20 smiles per day and the average cheerful adult's 40–50.

Why is it vital to smile? In addition to improving our mood, smiling causes our bodies to release endorphins and cortisol, which have a number of positive effects on our health.

• Blood pressure is lower
• higher endurance
• decreased pain
• Stress reduction and immune system augmentation

Additionally, studies demonstrate that smiling makes people seem more liked, polite, and capable. People who smile more often are more successful at work and earn more money.

The first step is simple: grin as you begin your day. The brain's synchronising function fires when neurons are activated by smiling, which is why smiling is contagious. You'll discover that smiling will make other people around you smile as well, not just for you.

The benefits of smiling for physical and mental health are as follow:
Benefits for physical health of smiling

Endorphins are released
Happy hormones called endorphins give us an inward feeling of warmth and joy. Our bodies release endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin when we smile, which improves our mood, reduces tension, and relaxes our bodies.

Reduces heart disease risk and blood pressure
Our blood pressure and heart rate both rise when we are under stress. "Smiling and laughing initially increases heart rate, then relaxes the muscle, and ultimately decreases the heart rate and blood pressure," says Chris Norris, a psychiatrist and neurologist. One of the major risk factors for heart disorders is high blood pressure. Ultimately, lowering blood pressure can also lower our risk of developing heart disease.

So, smiling can assist lower blood pressure in the same way that keeping a smile through a stressful scenario can help lower stress levels.

Boosts endurance
Perceived effort is one of the most crucial elements in sports endurance. Regardless of how hard your body may actually be working, perceived effort refers to how hard you feel your body is working. Regarding endurance, a health benefit of smiling is that it improves athletic performance by reducing perceived effort. This implies that we might exercise with less energy expended while also performing at a higher level. So, try smiling the next time you work out and watch the difference!

Improves immune system
Small proteins are released from the brain when we smile or laugh. These minute molecules preserve immunological tolerance and might aid in the battle against potentially fatal infections. Your resistance to sicknesses is subsequently improved as a result of an increase in the quantity of immune cells and antibodies that fight infections. This benefit of smiling can help cut down on doctor visits!

Decreases pain
When we smile, endorphins are released that temporarily lessen minor aches and pains in the body. A higher pain tolerance can be developed over time with increased laughter, which can raise your pain threshold.

Smiles provide psychological health advantages

Improves mood
You can learn how easily our brains can be tricked from your psychologist at the mental health facility. Therefore, when we're pleased, we often smile, and when we're unhappy, we often frown. Our emotional states are accurately expressed by these facial expressions. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, forcing a grin can also increase the feelings of happiness. Therefore, even when you may not feel totally pleased, the physical act of smiling might fool your brain into believing you are happy.

Improves connections/ Relationships
You can achieve in both your personal and professional life by smiling. According to a study published in the journal of positive psychology, people who display positive emotions and are generally happier are more likely to succeed in their daily endeavours and at work. Another study indicated that smiling predicted more "favourable outcomes" in life, including happy marriages, personal wellbeing, and fulfilment. This study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Reduces stress
It is challenging for us to think positively or relax as such while we are under stress. We can trick our brain into releasing neuropeptides, which are small proteins that can assist reduce stress, if we try to smile during a brief stressor. So, you might try to pretend to grin and begin to enjoy its advantages. You can get practise and more strategies from your psychologist at the mental health clinic.

Reduces tension
Just as stress can create anxiety, anxiety can also cause stress. It has been demonstrated that smiling can assist lower stress levels. Sometimes grinning can also encourage nicer ideas, which can temporarily tamp down on anxious feelings and unpleasant feelings.

Smiling has both positive physiological and psychological impacts. Smiling, though, might not always come naturally. Imagine receiving bad news or having a hectic day; these situations could make it challenging for you to smile again.
Try the suggestions below to reap the advantages of smiling for your health.
• Count all the things for which you are thankful as you practise thankfulness.
• Spend more time outside - Being outside can improve your wellbeing, your disposition, and your propensity to smile.
• Self-care and charitable work One of the most satisfying methods to make yourself smile is to do something for yourself or someone else.
• Read a humorous book or watch one

Keep your smile in mind. Leave yourselves little cues to SMILE more.

Sriparna Mukherjee
Amity University, Kolkata


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