Benefits of Smiling and Laughter

Al Raig

“Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life”  - Yoko Ono

This has so much truth behind it. According to researchers, smiling and laughing have many positive benefits to your body and well-being. From being a child to becoming an adult some may have lessened the habit of  these actions - smiling and having fun for small reasons.

To cite an example,  in a children’s party - we  may observe that a child is most-likely seen playing with other children, laughing as they run around  to chase each other; simply enjoying the moment of small joys. The parents, on the other hand, remain seated on the side with stress and tiredness evident  on their faces, which are caused by the stress brought by the modern life. At times, they might grin or laugh but on rare occasions. Research resulted that there are plenty of health benefits in smiling and laughter.

Smiles and laughter can actually cause changes to your body without you even realizing it! Let us tell you the 5 Benefits of Smiles and Laughter.

  1. Endorphins are released to your system when you smile

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are released when certain movements of the facial muscles are done. The brain registers this movement which prompts the release of the said chemical. This causes you to have the feeling of happiness, thus lowering your stress level. Many practitioners and psychologists believe that even a fake laugh and smile are as good as the real ones. Why? Because your brain is not able to differentiate the two as it relies on the muscle movement to logically process the action.  This is known as the facial feedback hypothesis - to stimulate our brain to release this chemical more often to help us cope in stressful environment and gives us the sense of happiness and relaxation.

  1. Stress and pain can be manageable with laughter

Endorphins are also known for its wonders to act as natural painkillers. Smiling and laughing are great pain diminishers - almost similar to laughing off the pain when you fall over or accidentally cut your fingers. Did you know? Because of this, people diagnosed with chronic pain are known to laugh more often.

When we are stressed, we tend to release a hormone called cortisol. This hormone tend to be reactive when one feels extreme anxiety as well.  Best way to beat negavtive feelings caused by cortisol is through laugher!

  1. Laughing is considered an exercise

When you laugh - your lungs expand, many muscle stretches and your body goes through something similar to a homeostasis. Homeostasis keeps the body environment under control, and keeps the conditions right for cells to live and function. This mimics the actions of exercising.

  1. Laughter is a great emotion and life stabilizer

Laughing can help your body release emotions that have been bottled up. Whether it’s stress, anger, sadness or simple happiness, ever noticed how everything seems a tad bit better after a good laugh?

Smiling makes interaction much easier. It makes anyone a million times approachable. Also! It gets you that extra cookie points for a new friendship or a job interview. And of course, nothing is better than laughter shared with people that surround us. Laughter is like a pleasant disease, it's contagious in a wonderful way.