How Smiling Reduces the Effects of Stress

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Stress is a constant part of life, making it difficult to enjoy the better aspects of the world. However, there are many ways to reduce stress; for instance, did you know that a smile a day could keep the stress away? Read on to learn how a simple grin affects your mindset and body.

How the Mind Interprets a Smile

There are certain actions we associate with specific emotions. When we feel overwhelmed with sadness or grief, we cry. If we find something tiring or we feel exasperated, our shoulders sag. And if we feel frustration or anger, we clench our jaws. Meanwhile, a smile is often associated with pleasure and enjoyment. With any emotion, performing the corresponding action spurs a feeling specific inside.

Actors will often use various tricks to help them cry on command for a movie or TV scene, which helps them get into character and portray sadness. The same rationale applies to how a smile can reduce the effects of stress. You’ll likely feel less tense as you kickstart a happier emotional state by looking for or thinking of things that make you smile.

Physical Sensations Caused by Smiles

Performing different actions leads to emotional stimuli that trigger processes in the brain. When you smile for a moderate amount of time after feeling stressed, the brain will interpret this as a sign of needing help to feel better.

The brain will release chemicals like serotonin and endorphins into your bloodstream to improve your mood. The serotonin will act as an antidepressant and help you feel more upbeat, while the endorphins will reduce pain and put you in a relaxed state.

Stress is one of the common causes of headaches and migraines, but performing actions that will allow your body to release endorphins will help reduce the pain you feel. Your heart rate will also lower as you smile more because your body will have numerous mood-boosting chemicals flowing through it to make it feel at ease.

The Effects of Smiles on Stress

The emotional and physical effects of stress can be reduced through smiling, which will help you feel more at peace. Try to smile whenever you feel yourself falling into a downward spiral of negativity to pull yourself toward a feeling of wellness.

Emotional regulation is just one of the benefits of practicing mindfulness daily. By spending intentional time taking deep breaths and smiling as you exhale, you’ll feel your emotions begin to level out. Stress can quickly dampen your mood, so smiling is an important practice you’ll want to make a habit whenever times get tough.

Smiling can brighten any moment, hour, or day of your life and may even help someone else who is experiencing stress. Smile to reduce the effects of stress and help yourself feel the enjoyment that life supplies—it’s always there, and a simple smile will help you see it more clearly.