An Easy Way to Boost Health – Smile!
Children smile more than 400 times a day. Yet as we age, our faces show more blank expressions or even frowns. The happiest of adults smile an average of 40–50 times a day, while the average adult only smiles 20 times a day. Fortunately, there’s good news about smiling that will make you grin. Growing research finds that smiling elicits a plethora of health benefits, including less stress and a happier, longer life.
A study of baseball card photos taken in 1952 revealed that the smiling baseball players outlived their non-smiling counterparts by seven years. Researchers conclude that smiling is similar to getting restful sleep and actually awakens your brain with feel-good neural messaging. Even slight grins boost physical health.
For example, smiling:
- Fortifies the immune system. A happy face makes for an upbeat mood and relaxed body, which enhance immune function. Smiling literally helps prevent flu and colds.
- Produces stress-reducing hormones like cortisol, dopamine and adrenaline to counter the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and structural changes in the brain’s memory.
- Releases the body’s natural drugs. With a happy face, the body releases pain-reducing endorphins to relax the body, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure.
- Positively changes mood. Psychologists note that if a person grins for 60 seconds, even if the grin is faked or forced, the body releases mood-lifting serotonin that helps the body feel contented again.
- Uplifts the face for a more youthful look. The face’s smile muscles physically draw up the face, making a person look younger and more vibrant.
How do you help your senior loved one smile more often throughout the day?