The so eagerly awaited new Millennium has brought us a new tempo of living that involves a whole lot of running about; we’re all so involved in our jobs in the big cities that sometimes we don’t even have the time to prepare a home-cooked meal! It seems like even though our parents didn’t have all the available resources we do now, they still lived happier than us. All this hurrying and worrying is mentally and physically wearing us down.
Many illnesses today are caused by stress that seems inevitable, but we have so many things to do that often we forget it’s actually affecting our health. And it doesn’t even take that much to get rid of it either; we just have to learn and remind ourselves to smile more often, try to relax and keep a positive spirit or else we’ll all just lose our minds. In fact, there are so many things smiling can do for us, and they’re scientific reasons to smile, too!
It’s a commonly known fact that smiling releases endorphins, or the “happy hormones”, if you will. Even when you’re not feeling up to it, a crack of smile can still fool your body into thinking it should be happy because of the movements of the facial muscles. This helps reduce stress levels to a minimum and produces an overall state of peace inside your organism. Not surprisingly, endorphins can also be called “natural painkillers” since they help chronic pain patients in relieving daily muscle tensions.
The well-being of your immune system is affected by numerous things: your eating habits, your resistance to outside factors of germs and bacteria, and of course again, stress levels. Well, while the first two are up to you entirely, the third one is not so easy to influence. Well, one thing you can do to take your worries away is to try and stay cheerful every day. Don’t let your problems eat you up, just try and laugh as often as you can. You might wonder, how does smiling help you fight stress from ruining your life? The more you laugh, the more stress hormones are reduced which in turn activates your antibodies. They fight infections and start being resistant to certain diseases.
It’s all very interrelated, really. Constantly feeling anxious or angry might not give you warning signs momentarily, but keep it up and all that pressure will surely burst out somewhere one day. Just let’s hope that place is not your heart. Statistics show that heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the US. So there you have another reason why you should smile more: it triggers your blood vessels to function better, thus increasing healthy blood flow.
A couple of funny jokes with your friends and you’ll be wondering where you left your negative thoughts. Somewhere along the way to becoming a happier individual probably. Your body responds to laughter and smiling (even fake) in that it activates certain brain areas responsible for the feeling of reward and the release of dopamine – a neurotransmitter that triggers happy, positive emotions. Our facial expressions make the body want to respond with feelings that correlate with them, so even when you don’t really feel like smiling, this simple facial movement will force it to react correspondingly.
Most of us never take these things seriously until they start affecting our health. If you’re someone who truly cares about their health and wants to do something about it, now you have all the more reasons to know why is it important to smile more and more every day. And yes, an apple a day might keep the doctor away, but a smile or two along with it help too.