The Many Health Benefits of Smiling and Laughter

Casey Ledford16 March 2023 (Updated 3 May 2023)

Smiles hold a lot of power. Not only can they increase communication between two individuals, but the more one smiles, the healthier one’s brain becomes. Regardless of your attitude, smiling more regularly can enhance your health and perhaps even help you live longer!

It turns out that flashing your pearly whites has a lot of advantages. Here’s why smiling is excellent for your health.

Smiling Decreases Stress

Stress can pervade our entire being and manifest itself visibly in our faces. Smiling not only helps us avoid looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed, but it can also help reduce stress.

Believe it or not, smiling can relieve anxiety and stress even if you don’t feel the happiest, you can fake it with a forced smile and it will still have some effect.

Smiling Impacts Your Appearance and Confidence

As humans, we are naturally drawn to people who smile. While more harsh or negative facial expressions, such as frowns, sneers, and grimaces, effectively push people away, smiling is often seen as attractive—and people may even think you have more positive qualities if you’re smiling.

While you may not actually age, smiling or laughing more frequently can give the impression that you are younger than you are. According to a Psychology and Aging study, when a group looked at photos of people with happy faces, they guessed the person’s age as younger than when they looked at photos of the same people with neutral or angry expressions. Smiling is optional! You’re simply appreciating your youthful appearance.

Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

Smiling can also improve your overall health by allowing your immune system to work more efficiently. Immune function is believed to improve when you smile because you are more relaxed (thanks to the release of certain neurotransmitters). Smiling may allow you to maintain your physical health or strengthen your immune system in preparation for cold and flu season.

Smiling Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

Smiling may have a positive effect on your blood pressure. Laughter, in particular, appears to lower blood pressure after causing an elevated heart rate and breathing. While smiling has been shown to lessen heart rate in the face of challenges, more research is necessary to confirm how it reduces blood pressure.

If you have a blood pressure monitor at home, you can put this theory to the test. Take a few minutes to sit and read. Then, after a minute of smiling, take another reading while still smiling. Is there a difference?

Smiling Spreads Positivity

Smiling elicits a positive response. Maintaining a positive attitude has real health benefits, such as increased life expectancy, better cardiovascular health, and lower levels of depression. Start making time to bond with friends or family members who make you laugh, whether through jokes or story-telling. Remember that the more laughter you have in your life, the happier you will be, as will those around you.

Your brain automatically detects and understands other people’s facial expressions and movements, and you may even imitate them at times. That is, you may notice somebody else’s smile and unconsciously grin yourself. (Yes, it has been scientifically proven that smiles are indeed contagious).

Smiling Elevates Your Mood

When you smile, three hormones are released: dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Because low levels of these hormones are associated with depression, these hormones “trick” your body into feeling happier. Something as simple as scrolling through your favorite photos on your phone or making a special album can make you happy. You’ll be surprised at how much better your mood can be boosted by doing something as simple as smiling!

CDG is Here to Help

Smiling can be beneficial to your health in a variety of ways. If you have health or cosmetic issues with your teeth, you will be less likely to smile on a regular basis – but you are not alone. At CDG, we understand that your teeth can make you feel self-conscious and prevent you from reaping the benefits of smiling frequently. Understanding the advantages of smiling can help you understand the significance of taking excellent care of your teeth.