Can Smiling Really Improve Your Mental State?

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Smiling is a painless and free treatment, but can this be enough to have a real effect on a person’s mental state?  We have all heard that that smiling through a bad moment might just help you feel better or when people force their faces to smile, they perceive things as funnier than when they force their faces to frown, but is this assumption true? PsychCentral posted a blog about research examining how different kinds of smiling and our awareness of our smiling can impact our mood. The findings suggest smiling during brief periods of stress may help reduce the body’s stress response, regardless of whether the person actually feels happy or not.

According to an article by Mark Stibich, a consultant at Columbia University, smiling is a great way to make yourself stand out while helping your body to function better. Smiling improves your health, your stress level, and your attractiveness. Below is a list of reasons to crack a smile more often.

Smiling:

1. Makes you attractive to others because there is an automatic attraction to people who smile.

2. Can change your mood. If you try, even when it’s extremely difficult to smile when you are not feeling good, there is a chance it might actually improve the way you are feeling.

3. Just like yawns, smiling can be contagious. Others will want to be with you because you will be helping others feel better.

4. Relieves stress. Stress expresses itself, right in our faces. When we smile, it can help us look better, less tired and less worn down.

5. Boosts Immune System. Smiling can actually stimulate your immune response by helping you relax.

6. Lowers Blood Pressure. When you smile, there is evidence that your blood pressure can decrease.

7. Releases Endorphins and Serotonin. Research has reported that smiling releases endorphins, which are natural pain relievers, along with serotonin, which is also associated with feel good properties.

When you smile at someone else you help to create physiological changes in their bodies that may benefit them, as well as yourself. If you are feeling good, let others know it, it will look good on you, and it will help others around you. If you are not feeling good, time to fake it till you make it and smile!

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.

 

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