Smiling is free and something that can make us all feel better. But how often should you smile to improve your mental health?
In this post, we have answers. We take a look at smiling frequency and then list some of the benefits from engaging in the activity more often. Take a look below:
So, how often should you smile? Well, according to research, we need to spend around 20 minutes smiling per day to reap the benefits. That’s equivalent to having one fun-filled chat with a friend in the evening. However, it may actually be better to spread your smiling throughout the day. This way, you can give yourself a boost every hour or so to keep your mental health in check.
Children laugh or smile around 300 times per day, according to research. However, adults smile less than 20 times per day, and miserable workers in their forties may only smile four times a day – about 100 times less than they should.
Ideally, you want to smile around 40 times per day. That means that you smile three to four times for every waking hour. If you can hit this threshold, then you will likely feel better about life.
Smiling is seriously good for you. In fact, there is a dentist near me who swears by it. When people feel confident about their smiles, it changes their lives, both on the inside, and the outside.
Smiling Reduces Stress
There’s evidence, for instance, that smiling may help to reduce stress. A University of Kansas study, for instance, found that smiling more often actually reduced heart rate and lowered blood pressure. What’s more, even when people pretended to smile, it had the same effect. Their heart wasn’t in it, but that didn’t seem to matter
In a similar study, researchers found that laughing and smiling boosted the immune system. People who were frequently happy about their lives released serotonin and endorphins supporting good health and making them less likely to fall ill.
Smiling Lifts Your Mood
Further studies point out that smiling may be able to lift your mood, helping people with depression. Therefore, even if you don’t feel like smiling, just activating the muscles around the corners of your mouth can make you feel better.
Researchers think this is because of associations in the brain. When you smile, you think that something good is happening. And when that occurs, the signals the brain sends to the rest of the body change significantly.
Smiling Is Contagious
Smiling is also contagious. If you are around other people who smile a lot, then you are likely to join them. When everybody is smiling in your home, it creates a positive atmosphere that totally changes the emotional landscape, improving the mental health of everyone in the vicinity.
So, are you smiling enough? Do you want to smile more? Just try it today. The evidence suggests that it works, even if it isn’t authentic. Forcing yourself to go through the motions could actually provide substantial benefits.