5 reasons to smile everyday

Today is #WorldSmileDay.
We celebrate this day on the first Friday of October to commemorate artist, Harvey Ball creating the iconic smiley face symbol in 1963. However the purpose of this day is also to show the importance of smiling and how important it is to give back in order to put a smile on someone’s face.
Flashing a smile is an outward exhibition of a positive attitude but did you know there can be health benefits to smiling?

Here are five reasons to smile everyday:

1. Smiling can improve your mood.
Emotions may originate in the brain but your facial muscles have the ability to either reinforce or transform those feelings. Studies show that by enhancing positive emotions or suppressing negative ones with facial expressions, a person’s mood begins to align more strongly with the emotion their face is communicating.

2. Smiling can help to reduce stress.
A 2012 study, studied 170 participants who were told to hold chopsticks in their mouths in three formations, making them smile to various degrees without realising it, after performing a stressful task. The experiment revealed that subjects who smiled the widest with the chopsticks experienced a substantial reduction in heart rate and fast stress recovery compared to those whose expressions remained neutral.

3. Smiling makes you more approachable.

A 2004 study found that smiles shared by employees in the service industry influenced their impressions on customers in a positive way. Smiling employees came across as more likable and friendly and customers left feeling more satisfied with the experience. An added display of an authentic smile also helped workers to appear to be more competent.

4. Smiles are contagious…in a good way.
We all possess something called mirror neurons, cells in the pre-motor cortex and inferior parietal cortex that are activated when we perform a given action as well as when we witness someone else performing it. When it comes to smiling, mirror neurons respond to the acts of seeing and doing.

5. Smiles may strengthen the body on a cellular level.
Just as smiling helps the body to get rid of stress, smiling can release tension on a cellular level as well. Cells can apparently distinguish between safety and danger, find and repair problems and create an overall sense of balance within the body. A person’s thoughts have a direct effect on cell function. When we smile, we reduce the rigidness of our cells and this physical relaxation can help combat the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to the development or persistence of cancers.

Source: The Huffington Post