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Smile! It’s Good For You

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Most would agree that feeling good makes us smile. But research shows that the inverse is also true. Smiling makes us feel good – both mentally and physically. Here are four reasons to turn that frown upside down.

Smiling is good for mental health. When we smile, we activate neuropeptides–tiny molecules that send our positive stress-reducing signals throughout the body. Smiling also releases the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which act as natural anti-depressants.

Smiling is good for your immune system. Smiling relieves stress on the body which in turn activates disease-busting cells, thus strengthening the immune system.

Smiling helps relieve pain. Smiling releases endorphins, our body’s natural pain relievers. They serve as roadblocks, keeping pain signals from reaching the brain. In some cases, endorphins can work better at relieving pain than OTC drugs.

Smiling is good for your heart. Smiling has been linked to lowered blood pressure and is believed to make our blood vessels work more efficiently and the blood flow more easily through them – good news for people suffering from hypertension.

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