Smiles Have Long Term Effects on our Health and Wellbeing

In Brain, Depression, Dopamine, Humor, Serotonin by DC McGuire1 Comment

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Smiles Instead of Anti-Depressants?

Think of smiling as a natural anti-depressant. When we smile, fake or real, the contractions of the facial muscles slightly distort the shape of the thin facial bones.  This slight distortion in their shape leads increases blood flow into the frontal lobes of the brain, simultaneously increasing a release of dopamine and serotonin.

As a result, walking around with a smiles on our faces actually encourages a happier mood. Not only are we happier, but our smiles might spontaneously induce others to smile, releasing dopamine in their brains.  It could be a movement!

 Smiles Instead of Antibiotics?

Smiling can also boost your overall health. When we smile, the dopamine and serotonin released relaxes us, and boosts immune function Cold or flu bugs going around?  Smile!

Smile YIce Cream Angelsour Blood Pressure Lower?

When we smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Start with taking your blood pressure. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. See the difference!

Smiles Instead of Pain Killers?

Smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin, to reduce physical pain. You may be able to enjoy a smile instead of popping a pill!

It’s scientifically proven that smiles are “contagious” Why not the gift of dopamine!




Sources: Little, A. C., B. C. Jones, and L. M. Debruine. “Facial Attractiveness: Evolutionary Based Research.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366.1571 (2011): 1638-659. Hatfield, Elaine, John T. Cacioppo, and Richard L. Rapson. “Susceptibility to Emotional Contagion.” Emotional Contagion (1993): 147-82. Abel, EL, and ML Kruger. “Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity.” Center for Human Growth and Development. Wayne State University, April 2010. Mobbs, D. Neuron, Dec. 4, 2003; vol 40: pp 1041-1048. News release, Neuron.


  1. Judy Anticouni

    And you seem to be a prime example of smiles being contagious and spreading all of those good hormones around! A little local McConnell’s Ice Cream can’t hurt either . . .

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