Literal definition: A smile is a facial expression formed primarily by flexing the muscles at the sides of the mouth.l

But in reality, a smile is much more. It can start a friendship, dissolve an argument and spread happiness around.

Scientific research has shown that the simple act of smiling can transform you and the world around you. Just seeing a smile is contagious and can stimulate happy thoughts, even if you’re not feeling particularly joyful at the time.

Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. Here is how:

1. It lowers stress

When a person is smiling, it reaches certain muscles within the body that make you feel happy. The movement of muscles in your face releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling. These endorphins lower stress levels, which improves your mood. Even if you are not feeling happy, endorphins will trick your body into thinking that you are. So, the more you smile and stimulate your brain to release this chemical, the happier you will feel.

2. It boosts your immune system

Laughing and smiling also encourages the release of serotonin. Like endorphins, serotonin is a neurotransmitter which contributes to a person’s happiness and wellbeing. Serotonin has many positive benefits – one of which is boosting the immune system. So, laughter and smiling really is the best type of medicine!

3. Smiling makes you more approachable

A smile is inviting facial expressions which eases tension and makes people feel comfortable around each other. People are more likely to engage socially with someone they perceive to be friendly, and a smile is a perfect way to demonstrate this.

Looking at the bigger picture! Each time you smile you create some magic! Even if you’re feeling blue, crack a smile and reap the numerous health benefits of smiling.

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