I am sure it has not escaped your attention that a smiling face is so much more attractive than ‘resting b**ch face’ but did you know that researches have found that people whose resting faces seemed cheerful were judged as being in better health than those who appeared miserable?

Smiling also boosts your immune system. Studies have also shown that smiling improves the function of the immune system. Apparently, when you smile your body relaxes, which in turn allows the immune system to function better and ward off colds.  Isn’t that a wonderful thought, you can literally smile away your colds!

Another benefit of smiling is that it lowers your blood pressure. When you smile endorphins increase bringing your blood pressure down. Studies have shown that testing your blood pressure both before and after smiling records a measurable difference.

Today’s lifestyle causes many of us to over stress which can have a profound effect on our health. Smiling can actually reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response, so trying to smile through moments of mild stress can help you wellbeing significantly.

Smiling releases endorphins which make us feel happy. The neurotransmitter serotonin is also released when we smile which makes us even happier. In addition to boosting your mood, endorphins and serotonin are natural pain relievers, they actually work together to minimize our pain sensation.

Smiling makes you appear more approachable as it is an attractive expression which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away. Smiling and laughing are contagious which makes the people around you feel better too which in turn makes you a more appealing and attractive person to be around.

A good belly laugh never did anyone any harm but did you know that laughing actually expands the lungs, stretches the muscles in the body and stimulates homeostasis?

If all of the above still hasn’t made you smile then let me leave you with this little snippet of information. Researchers have found that happier people were less likely to develop heart problems.  They also found that people who smile regularly can live 5-7 years longer than people who don’t smile a lot.

So how do you start smiling and laughing more often?

• Smile and laugh regularly. Funnily enough our brain does not know the difference between a fake or real smile so you get all the benefits mentioned above whether it is fake or real. You will probably find that if you almost do start ‘forcing’ your smile that over time you will feel better, and become more likely to smile and laugh more spontaneously.

• Watch funny films, TV, and theater shows.  Swapping a funny film or show can easily be swapped for a negative program or news broadcast that makes you feel glum.

• Spend time with the people in your life who make you feel happy. Surrounding yourself with happy, fun-loving, optimistic people will rub off on you, it is difficult to be unhappy around uplifting people.

• Find things to smile and laugh about. As you begin to consciously look at all the things that are funny and uplifting, you will be more aware of them and more ready to engage in a spontaneous smile or laugh.