Happy National Smile Week everybody! That’s right, the second week of August has been dubbed “National Smile Week” in honor of the facial expression that is a universal sign for joy and amusement, and I love it. My own face is rarely without a smile; in fact, I employ a bubbly, friendly personality that makes every day more fun! In honor of my favorite facial expression and this week’s interesting holiday, I wanted to share some of the major benefits of smiling!
Boost Your Mood and Mental Health
Smiling can help improve depression symptoms, and improve overall mood. Perhaps the old adage is true, fake it ‘till you make it! I know when I’m having a bad day, I plaster a fake smile on my face and somehow, by the end of the day it’s a genuine one.
Break the Proverbial Social Ice
Psychologists say that simply changing your expression to a smile can drastically alter the way you’re approached by those around you. People who smile seem nice, friendly, and more approachable, which makes the people around them feel more at ease.
Take a Load Off
Smiling releases happy hormones that help your body release tension and stress. When you’re feeling tense, stressed, or frustrated, a smile (even a fake smile) releases happy chemicals in your brain that eases negative feelings and their effects on your body! It’s easy medicine.
Spread the Love
Smiles are contagious. When you see a smile, you smile back. Additionally, wearing a smile can brighten the day of everyone around you, even if just a little bit. Sometimes knowing that a smile might help others keeps a smile on my face. Try it! Smile and watch how the people around you return the favor.
Improve Overall Health
Last but not least, smiling has a positive effect on the entire body, even the immune system! From our mental health (by releasing chemicals that make us feel happy) to our physical health (by providing immune system boosts, lowering blood pressure and reducing stress), research shows that smiling helps your body stay healthier!
With the benefits of smiling in mind, consider celebrating National Smile Week by taking some extra time to bring smiles to your kids’ faces. Take them out for ice cream, to an indoor trampoline park for jumps and giggles or to enjoy one of their favorite activities this week. Need some smile-worthy activity ideas? Check out my other articles and enjoy every smile your little ones share!