The Power of Smiling: Benefits and Challenges

The Power of Smiling: Benefits and Challenges

Smiling, whether you refer to it as a grin, smirk, beam, or smile, has undeniable mood-boosting power. Though we are born with the ability to smile, as we age, we smile less frequently. Children smile an average of 400 times per day, while happy adults smile 40-50 times a day and the typical adult smiles only 20 times a day. Take a look at why the power of smiling can benefit your life.

Why is The Power of Smiling Important?

Smiling not only offers an immediate mood boost, but it also helps our bodies release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins that offer numerous health benefits. Some of these benefits include reduced blood pressure, increased endurance, reduced pain, reduced stress, and a strengthened immune system. Moreover, studies show that people who smile appear more likable, courteous, and competent, and are often more productive. Smiling not only improves our own feelings but also affects those around us as smiling is contagious and activates neurons in the brain that cause others to smile back.

Check out this video of from Ron Gutman’s Ted Talk about the hidden power of smiling.

Try a Smile Challenge

If you want to increase your daily smile average and take advantage of the many health benefits of smiling, start by gently raising the corners of your mouth each day. The more you smile, the better you will feel. Here are three fun smile challenges to try:

  1. The Post-It-Note Challenge – Gather 10 colorful post-it notes and write down people, places, or things that make you smile. Put the post-it-notes in a place where you will see them every morning to start your day.
  2. The Waiting Challenge – Next time you find yourself waiting, whether it’s in traffic or at the grocery store, stop and smile. Watch as others smile back.
  3. The 19 Challenge – Scientists have calculated that there are 19 types of smiles. How many can you create? Smile at yourself in a mirror and see how many different smiles you can produce.

Are you looking for other health and nutrition ideas? Visit our nutrition page to get more great ideas.