Smiles are free but they are worth a lot
June 15th is Smile Power Day. Smiles are universal and they are free to share. However, culturally speaking, smiles can mean many different things around the world. For example, in parts of Asia people smile when they are embarrassed. And if you smile too much at people in the former Soviet Union, they will think you are a dishonest person. If you don’t happen to live in the former Soviet Union, spread the joy today with the power of a smile.
There are many health benefits in smiling too. They can improve your mood. Smiling releases endorphins, which helps a person feel happier and more positive. Smiling can lower blood pressure, help build a stronger immune system, is a great stress reliever and gives you a younger appearance.
What does smiling do to your brain?
Smiling activates tiny molecules in your brain that are designed to fend off stress. These molecules, called neuropeptides, facilitate communication between neurons in your brain. Also, when you smile, your brain releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.
Why is a smile so powerful?
A simple smile, genuine or even forced, prompts the brain to produce endorphins and serotonin, causing positive emotions. A happy, positive expression will serve you well in life. This is particularly true for challenging situations such as job interviews: a smiling, relaxed persona indicates confidence and an ability to cope well in stressful situations. This will also be of benefit in your career, building healthy relationships with colleagues and being seen in a favorable light by your employers.
Did you know...?
Laughing is good for the heart as it can increase blood flow by 20%.
Much like smiling laughter has many of the same great benefits for your health including improving your mood, reduce pain and over time increased laughter can elevate your pain threshold and help you build a higher pain tolerance. So, if you’re experiencing soreness make it a priority to get some laughs in while watching one of your favorite comedy flicks. You’ll not only limit body pain but you’ll be improving your overall health and well-being, too! Laughing expands the lungs, stretches the muscles in the body and stimulates homeostasis. This exercises the body, replenishing the cells from a lungful of oxygen and gaining all the benefits of exercising the body. Just remember the more you laugh, the more you will feel calm and stress-free!
Everything looks that little bit better after a good laugh and life can be seen from a more positive perspective. Smiling and laughing have positive social implications as well.
Remember, the more laughter in your life, the happier you and those around you will feel.
June 20 is the summer solstice, the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It's the day with the most hours of daylight, so enjoy, get outside and smile in the sunshine and try and find a way to have a really good laugh.
This post was written by Oxford’s very own Lisa Aksdal, the Corporate Concierge at Centennial Place in Calgary.