The effect of smiling on the brain and its impact on health and performance

Science receives new evidence every day. We have commented on many of them in various columns such as the heart-brain system, the digestive system and brain, breathing and others. Research is advancing every day and providing us with information that we can use to our advantage.

Proposals for preventive medicine are becoming more consistent. Medical science says that smiling has healing effects on both physical and mental health. A smile is a resource that doctors and psychologists use on a therapeutic level.

We cannot separate the body from the mind or spirit, the inheritance from the environment, the mind from actions and emotions. Everything is integrated and works as part of the mechanism.

When we smile, the activated muscles promote the secretion of serotonin, adrenaline and endorphins. When this happens, the face and expressions activate brain circuits, as well as the heart and other muscles, the endocrine and immune systems, and the body-mind as a whole.

Research shows that whether we smile, frown, or make any facial gesture, our brain receives signals. Given this, the body will act accordingly. As an integrated system, upon receiving a command caused by facial muscle movement, the brain will release different types of hormones depending on the situation. In the case of a smile, it causes relaxation, release of tension and contractures, providing a sense of well-being.

Smiling reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, thereby improving the immune system and preventing disease. In turn, this increases adrenaline levels, resulting in increased productivity and creativity. Additionally, it increases serotonin levels, reducing sadness, which helps prevent or fight depression. Endorphins, the happy hormones, increase and the whole body improves.

Popular sayings are sometimes wise, and one of them is: put on a good face in bad weather. The suggestion is that even in the face of undesirable situations we can put on a good face. Smile and you will benefit greatly.

What do we gain by smiling every day?
• Reduce stress and anxiety.
• Fight depression.
• Low blood pressure.
• Strengthen the immune system.
• Increased brain plasticity.
• Increase your sense of well-being.
• Reduce discomfort.
• Improve heart health.
• Relax your muscles.
• Improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.
• Encourage creativity.
• Increase productivity.
• Increased happiness.

A smile is contagious. Seeing someone smile is enough to benefit us, because we will inevitably smile too. Smiling has social consequences: people respond positively to smiling. We come to those who outline them. Simply viewing a photo or video of people smiling has a positive effect on the observer’s brain.

On a practical level, we can develop the habit of smiling at ourselves and others. When we greet someone, when we meet someone, when we look in the mirror. Even when faced with a problem or an undesirable situation, we can smile even if we feel it is dissonant. This will help us improve our emotional state and gain new perspectives. The situation will not change, but our perception will change. At the same time, reality is changing.

We are supposed to use our smile to achieve health and happiness. Thus, making a contribution to yourself and the environment.


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