Smiling Helps You Live Longer.
One study from 2010 found that smiling is associated with longer life (*). Speaking from experience, my mom’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa Stroud (pictured), were always smiling and laughing, even through pain, grief, sorrow, surgeries and everything else life threw at them. They, in turn, passed the gifts of love and laughter to all generations after them. Smiling and laughing has gotten us through mountains of grief, depression and pain.
Smiling Relieves Stress
Stress, anxiety and depression can blanket our entire being, but smiling can actually help reduce stress. Sometimes I don’t feel like smiling, but my wife Laura has a motto: “Fake it ’till you make it.” That’s her way of saying that even if you don’t feel like it, search for love and laughter, and it’ll find you. (Pictured: Me, my amazing grandson Joshua Jr. and my awesome granddaughter Jenna-Marie)
Smiling Elevates Mood
Dr. Mark Stibich says, “The physical act of smiling actually activates pathways in your brain that influence your emotional state—meaning that by adopting a happy facial expression, you can “trick” your mind into entering a state of happiness.” * (Pictured: My wonderful daughter Jessica and my incredible son-in-law Joshua Sr.)
Smiling Is Contagious
How hard is it NOT to smile when you’re hangin’ out with a happy person? I know some are immune to these charms, but most of us will find smiling and laughter are contagious. (Pictured: My marvelous daughter-in-law Maria and my spectacular son Trey)
Smiling Boosts the Immune System
Some theorize smiling relaxes you, which releases certain neurotransmitters, possibly helping your immune system. Think about which place you’d rather be when you’re sick: in a room full of OTHER sick people bemoaning their current situation, or a group who are smiling, relaxed and happy, even when things don’t look so great. (Pictured: Me with my Little Princess, my wife Laura)
Smiling Reduces Pain
Studies have shown smiling and laughing releases endorphins, serotonin and other painkillers found inside our bodies (*). It’s crazy to think anger and depression can worsen physical pain, but research shows this is true. On the flipside, smiling can not only help improve your mood, but your pain as well. (Pictured: Joshy doing his best Hulk impersonation)
Smiling Makes You Attractive
Smiling can make you more attractive and youthful. Be honest, how many times have you seen a good looking person whose significant other is, shall we say, not so attractive? At first you’re thinking, “What is THAT person doing with them?” but then you meet the significant other and find an inner joy you didn’t expect. It took me a while to learn what they meant when they said, “Beauty is only skin-deep.” Inner joy comes bursting from the spirit, and draws people closer, despite this shell we call “the body.” Smiling and laughter helps us see the person INSIDE instead of judging based solely on physicality. (Pictured: Me, many years ago, with my inspiring mom, Connie, and my astounding little sister, Annette)
Smiling Helps You Stay Positive
Again quoting Dr. Mark Stibich: “Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard, isn’t it? Smiling can influence your feelings of positivity, even if it feels unnatural or forced. Regardless of whether or not your smile is genuine, it still sends the message that ‘Life is good!’ to your brain and, ultimately, the rest of your body.” * (Pictured left-to-right: Me, Joshy and Trey)
So do your best to surround yourself with positive people. You might just discover a few benefits you never expected.
*Information is from Top 10 Reasons to Smile Every Day by Mark Stibich, PhD. All citations can be found in the article: (https://www.verywellmind.com/top-reasons-to-smile-every-day-2223755)
4 comments on “8 Reasons to Keep Smiling”
Awesome post! Yes, this world is under a lot of stress, lots of bad news. On the flip side, look at all the people stepping up and doing good things. That’s worth smiling about. 🙂
Very true, and thanks, Carol! I think we have to be very purposeful about being positive these days, ya know? It doesn’t come natural for many of us, so we have to SEEK the light and the laughter.
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Laughter really is healing (I wish Putin would get gassed – as in laughing gas, maybe that would fix him. LOL
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