Perhaps you’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. But a simple smile can also go a long way towards improving your health and making your life better overall.
Sounds a little bit too good to be true doesn’t it? Sure – you already know it takes fewer muscles to smile than frown and all of that stuff. But can smiling really make that much of a difference?
Just keep reading to find out more about the health benefits of smiling and how you can have a beautiful smile – naturally!
3 Reasons Why Smiles are Good For Your Health
1. Smiles Reduce Your Stress Level
Most of us are more stressed out than we should be. Our hectic modern lives have a way of doing that to us.
The problem is – stress is directly connected to all sorts of diseases and serious health complications. Health experts agree – poorly-managed stress can lead to heart disease, diabetes, depression, digestive distress, obesity – and many other issues.
Smiling can lower your heart rate and blood pressure in stressful situations – potentially reducing the chance of developing heart disease. Plus, when you smile your body releases beneficial endorphins. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol are reduced and your body may boost serotonin – known as the “feel-good hormone.”
2. A Smile Can Help Relieve Your Pain
Those endorphins released when you smile are not only positive mood-enhancers, they can also be also natural painkillers.
This really works – next time you stub your toe or knock your funny bone – try smiling and laughing a little bit. You might be surprised at how quickly you get over the pain.
You may have heard about how endorphins released after intense exercise can produce what’s often called a “runner’s high.” Research suggests smiling can release those same endorphins and produce a similar effect.
3. Smiling Can Boost Your Immune System
A body that is less stressed leads to a stronger immune system. When you are more relaxed your immune system is able to function at its best. So smiling may help your body fight off sickness.
Smiling may even increase your white blood cells or leukocytes – the first line of defense in your immune system. One scientific study found hospitalized children who were visited by entertainers that made them laugh and smile had a higher white blood cell count.
3 Reasons Why Smiling Makes You a Better Person
1. Your Smiles Help Make Other People Happier
You’ve probably noticed that it’s hard to be grumpy around people who are genuinely happy.
Smiling (and happiness is general) is “contagious” – there is research to back it up.
Kind of like contagious yawning – except it makes other people feel happy instead of sleepy.
It seems that all different types of moods can be passed from person to person.So make sure you’re spreading happiness!
Smile at the people you encounter on a daily basis.
- Also Read Act Happy and You’ll Be Happy
- Find out more in this NPR Story on the Contagiousness of Happiness
2. A Good Smile Can Make You More Attractive
We can all agree that someone who looks happy is better-looking than someone who looks down in the dumps or downright angry.
But smiling can also make you look younger. A 2011 study in which people were asked to guess the ages of people in photos found participants believed subjects were on-average three years younger than they actually were.
It’s essentially an all-natural face lift. So forget the Botox – just smile more often!
- Also check out 13 Health Benefits of Laughing Out Loud
3. Smiling Can Make You More Successful
Smiling not only makes you more attractive, it can also boost your confidence – especially when you know you’ve got a healthy-looking smile. Confident people tend to be more successful people.
But there is all sorts of evidence pointing to how smiling leads to success in life.
It makes a lot of sense. You’d be more likely to tip a restaurant server who smiles a lot, right. Friendlier car salesman sell more cars and we prefer doctors with pleasant bedside manner.
People who smile are viewed as more trustworthy. Others are more likely to remember you if you have a smile on your face. These things can give you powerful advantages if you’re interviewing for a job.
Smiley, happy people are also more likely to get promoted throughout their careers. If you smile a lot, you’ll be more likely to be viewed as an open-minded person who works well on a team. And conversely – people will be more likely to cooperate with you on things when you smile at them frequently.
There is even evidence that smiling can increase your productivity. A 2014 study from the UK’s University of Warwick backs that up. But a stressful work environment will likely have the opposite effect.
- Read more: Forbes.com – Why it Pays to be Happy at Work
- Read more: ZenHabits.com – How to be Productive and Keep Smiling
3 Natural Ways to Get a Beautiful, Healthy-Looking Smile!
As health blogger Wellness Mama explains ” oral health is intricately linked to the health of the whole body and the rampant rates of tooth decay and oral health problems is a sign of some deeper nutritional problems in modern society.”
Keeping your teeth and gums in good shape not only makes your smile more attractive – it is also a good sing that you are healthy.
Here are some things you can do to take care of your smile…
1. Take Supplements with Nutrients to Support Healthy Teeth
One of the most important nutrients for strong teeth appears to be Vitamin D. It’s sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because we are supposed to get Vitamin D3 when we absorb sunlight. There have even been studies linking good oral health and sun exposure.
In addition, the Vitamin D Council says a number of studies indicate people with lower levels of Vitamin D have a greater risk for developing periodontal disease.
Vitamin D could increase compounds with antimicrobial properties, potentially reducing the amount of bacteria in your mouth. There is even evidence that Vitamin D can reverse tooth decay – or essentially help cavities heal!
Of course, since teeth are actually bone – two other important nutrients to consider are the minerals calcium and magnesium.
2. Use All-Natural Oral Hygiene Products
If you’re a health-conscious person, you may want to avoid some of the ingredients in typical dental care products. For instance, some people have concerns with the amount of fluoride in toothpastes and mouthwashes.
That’s why Natural Healthy Concepts offers many dental health items that are fluoride-free.
Everyone wants a smile full of bright, white teeth. But some of the stuff in teeth whitening products could be harmful, and people can have painful side effects from whitening procedures.
Some better options could be products like EcoDent Dazzling Tooth Whitner. Or for a healthy balance of bacteria in your mouth that also gently whitens teeth there is Extraordinary Beauty Probiotic Smile from Garden of Life.
3. Try Oil-Pulling for Dental Health
This procedure involves using something like, sunflower, sesame, or coconut oils as a mouthwash. You swish it around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes and the oil “pulls” the bacteria and other gunk out.
Reducing that bad bacteria can leave you with a healthier mouth, which can reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis and give you fresher breath too.
- Read more about oil pulling on the NHC Blog
Watch this Video: Mary Bloomer Explains the benefits of Oil Pulling
Should You Force a Phony Smile?
Now you know how smiling can improve your life and well-being – especially when you’ve got a healthy and attractive smile.
But let’s face it – some of us don’t feel like smiling all the time. So should you fake it?
Some experts say “yes” and some say “no”. Forcing yourself to smile may trick your mind into feeling happier according to some research. But there are other studies that say it could have an opposite effect. Research published in the Academy of Management Journal found that a group of bus drivers who forced themselves to smile at customers actually saw their moods deteriorate over two weeks.
Perhaps the best thing to do is find a way to be naturally and authentically happy.
Simple advice like “think happy thoughts” could change your mood. Spend time with people who make you feel good. Watch TV shows and movies that make you laugh. Make sure you’re getting proper sleep and exercise along with a nutritious diet.
And when you need a little extra help feeling positive – you can also find supplement that support Mood Health at Natural Healthy Concepts.
Image Credits via Flickr: