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HEALTH HINTS

The Magic of Smiling

By: Jiecel M. RamirezThe Magic of Smiling

A smile is so much more than a facial movement. It's the secret potion to prosper in the fields of health and happiness. Read on and get ready to wear that dazzling smile from now on!

Smiling can reduce your stress levels.

Did you know that each time you smile, the release of neuropeptides is activated? Neuropeptides are small protein-like molecules known for its stress-relieving properties.

Did you also know that faking a smile can trick your mind into believing you're happy even if you're feeling the opposite? It's because the brain sees the muscle movement and consider that humor is ongoing.

“Even forcing a fake smile can legitimately reduce stress and lower your heart rate,” cosmetic dentist Sivan Finkel said.

Smiling can strengthen your immune system.

Fight off sickness by showing off those pearly whites! Dr. Murray Grossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist, noted how depression weakens the immune system while happiness boosts the body’s resistance. “What’s crazy is that just the physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity,” he pointed out.

Smiling can make you feel even happier.

Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist, explained that a smile stimulates a chemical reaction in the brain, causing the release of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress," she noted.

Did you know that smiling works both ways? A study published in Neuropsychologia found that seeing another person smile makes you feel rewarded. Looking at someone's smiling face activates the orbitofrontal cortex, an area in the brain where sensory rewards are processed.

Dr. Eva Ritzo, psychiatrist and co-author of 'The Beauty Prescription: The Complete Formula for Looking and Feeling Beautiful', recommends smiling at yourself in the mirror. This simple activity can help you stay grounded and can keep you away from worries and fears that are weighing you down.

What better way to start the day than flashing a smile? Keep calm. Smile. Pass that good vibes on. And watch how the universe smile back at you.

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