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Why Smiling Is Good for You

It turns out, there are many benefits to showing your pearly whites. Here’s why turning that frown upside down is good for your health.

Why Smiling is Good For You Infographic 

Why Smiling Is Good for You

It turns out, there are many benefits to showing your pearly whites. Here’s why turning that frown upside down is good for your health.  

Reduces stress  

Next time you’re anxiously waiting in traffic (or any other stressful situation), force a smile. A study in 2012 revealed that people who smiled after a stressful task—even when it wasn’t an authentic smile—had a reduced heart rate than those who kept a neutral facial expression.1

It’s contagious  

You’ve heard smiling is contagious, but according to experts 1, when someone sees you smile, their brain fires up neurons that mirror a similar response. It’s like they are smiling as well.  

Smiling is a natural pain reliever

When you smile, your neurons tell your body you’re happy or excited and your body releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin – the neurotransmitters that make you feel great. There are many benefits to having those endorphins released, but one is that it’s a natural pain reliever. And the even better news? There are no negative side effects with this pain reliever.2  

You’re more attractive

This isn’t just preferential. Studies show people consider those who smile more attractive, sincere, reliable, and relaxed. And it’s not one way. In the study, both men and women were more attracted to pictures of those who smiled and made contact than those who did not.  

You’re more likely to have better long-term relationships  

Could the secret to happy marriages be all in smiling? Maybe it’s not that simple, but a 30-year University of California study 4 showed that those who showed positive emotions in their yearbook photos at age 21 were more likely to have better personal well-being and positive marriages 30 years later.  

Swapping frowning out for smiling may help alleviate depression  

It’s not just smiling that affects your mood. Some studies 5 show that limiting frowning relieved depression in 27% of the patients studied. So, swap that frown for a smile and watch the mood-altering effects.  

Smiling can lengthen your life

One study 6 from Wayne State University suggests those who genuinely smile more often lived five to seven years longer than those who did not.  

Smiling makes you more likable  

Want to seem more competent, likable, and friendly? A Penn State University study showed employees who authentically smiled while working caused customers to leave with more satisfaction.7

Helps you be more creative

That big old grin helps your brain be more innovative than when you have negative emotions. By smiling, you help your brain come up with more solutions and increase your creativity.8

While you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living. For information on our medical or dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.    

Related: 7 Healthy Things to Consider Doing Every Day

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.


[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323699704578326363601444362 [2] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile [3] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile [4] https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp801112.pdf [5] https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323699704578326363601444362 [6] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797610363775 [7] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/08/smiling-benefits_n_6598840.html [8] https://www.prevention.com/life/a20461282/how-a-good-mood-boosts-creativity/

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Amberlee Lovell Peterson
Amberlee is a content manager, freelance writer, and designer. She is currently working on launching her own podcast and loves baby foxes.