Anticancer Therapy|Body’s Self-Healing Power|Health Benefits of Laughter and Positive Emotions

Smiling Is Good for Mental Health

Psychological researchers found several health benefits of smiling, which not just improve your physical and mental health, and even able to increase your lifespan.  Also, a great number of great researches have proved the health benefits of smiling. 

One article reports that children average smile 400 times a day while the happiest adults only smile 40-50 times a day.

1. Smile or Laughter Lower your Stress Level

When scientists asked participants to engage in a challenging task. And they found that the smiling folk had lower stress levels and heart rates than the non-smiling group. The findings show that a smile does come with positive effects on the body.


2. Smiling Releases Endorphins: Laughter is a Potent Endorphin Releaser

It improves your mood and helps you to relax more, and lowers your blood pressure.

Speaker and entrepreneur Ron Gutman elucidate the hidden power of smiling on Ted Talk.

“ what causes our brain to have more activity in the frontal lobe and make the reward mechanism light up is the act of smiling itself [….] One smile is as stimulating to our brain as eating how many bars of chocolate? 2000 bars of chocolate [….] Smiling actually reduces the level of stress enhancing hormones that cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine, increases the level of mood-enhancing hormones [endorphins] …..smiling doesn’t only make you look more likable and courteous, it actually makes you look more competent.” The Hidden Power of Smiling, on Gutman


3. Authentic Smiling Guarantee Positive Emotions

A true smile is part of a feedback loop that brings you positive emotions. Smiling with sincerity is able to put you in a good mood.

Researchers found that people who frown during unpleasant scenario report more pain than those who make neutral or relaxed facial expressions

In an experiment, the researcher injected participants with botulinum toxin, which is a neuromuscular blocker which paralyzes the frowning muscles in their faces. The findings show that the participants improve their moods and their depressive symptoms decreased simultaneously.


4. Good for Interpersonal Relationships

Since smiling is contagious, it will good for your interpersonal relationships for sure.

A compelling study at Wayne State University studied photos to classify the smiles of 230 baseball players. They found that the players with partial smiles lived averagely two years longer than players who didn’t smile at all. Besides, those who had the biggest smiles lived about seven years longer than then non-smiling individuals.


5. More Approachable 

Researchers found that people with smiles are viewed as more attractive or trustworthy than those with neutral expressions in a social situation


6. Improves Work Effectiveness and  Productivity

People in the service industry prove to have a more positive effect on customers when they smile. A finding shows that people in leadership positions tend to favor employees who smile more regularly.


7. Researches Prove that Positive Emotions Reduces Inflammation

There’s research[1] found a broad spectrum of different positive emotions from day-to-day is related to lower biomarkers of systemic inflammation, which reduces the risk of chronic disease and premature death.

In a nutshell, everyday positive emotions determine a person’s physical well-being. positive emotions are able to lower levels of systemic inflammation.[1] The term “biodiversity” emphasizes the potential importance of promoting a “breadth and abundance” of various positive emotions on a daily basis. In conclusion, positive valence emotions do have anti-inflammatory effects.

The 16 positive valence emotion includes being active, alert, amused, at ease, attentive, calm, cheerful, determined, enthusiastic, excited, happy, inspired, interested, proud, relaxed, and strong.

Anthony Ong, Professor of Human Development and Gerontology at Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medical College was the leader of this study. Ong summed up the findings in stating “There is growing evidence that inflammatory responses may help explain how emotions get under the skin, so to speak, and contribute to disease susceptibility.

[1] Nevertheless, experiencing a limited diversity of positive emotions did not downregulate inflammation.


8.Correlation Between Negative emotions, Stress and Inflammation

Notably, previous research pinpoints a correlation between negative emotions and inflammation.

Studies found that who experienced negative moods several times per day for extended periods tended to have higher levels of inflammation biomarkers in their blood. Scientific findings also prove that loneliness and self-isolation potentially contribute to a higher risk of sickness and cancer.

[1] The paper “Emodiversity and Biomarkers of Inflammation” was published in the journal Emotion.

 Impact of negative emotion on physical and mental health

1. More and more researches explore the direct link between momentary and long-term mood reports, measures of chronic inflammation and disease.

2.Affect is modifiable.

3. Prof. Hobfoll told MNT “ Stress is significantly associated with virtually all the major areas of disease.”

4.Stress do harm our health and trigger higher inflammation in the boy.

5.Sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression also trigger higher inflammation in the boy.

6. Stress has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

In January last year, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that women with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were more likely to develop the condition than those without PTSD.

Periods of stress increase the production of the hormone cortisol, which can increase the amount of glucose in the blood.

I am wondering people who suffer from high pressure might be tempted to eat more or indulge in binge eating or stress eating. Besides, people suffer from depression might be tempted to distract their attention by emotional eating.  They may drink more alcohol, have more sugary drinks or midnight meals

9. Meditation and Peaceful Mind Reduce Body inflammation

A recent systematic analysis[1] of over a decade’s worth of mind-body interventions (MBIs) found that practices such as yoga and meditation reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and downregulate inflammation-related genes.

The findings prove that mind-body practices such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and tai chi have a similar effect of reversing the molecular signature caused by chronic stress and the expression of pro-inflammatory genes.

[1] This analysis was published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.


10. Laughter fosters brain connectivity

Studies found that Joyous laughter, taunting laughter and tickling laughter all of which activates connections between different brain regions.

11. Laughter shows an effect similar to antidepressants

Laughing activates the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. 


12. Laughter is good for your heart.

Research has shown that hearty waves of laughter promise an anti-inflammatory effect to our body which protects blood vessels and heart muscles from the damaging effects of cardiovascular disease.


Bottom line

A genuine authentic smile involves the muscles around the mouth, the cheeks will raise and the eyes and forehead will be moved as well. Findings show that people who smile just with their mouths don’t experience many rewards as those who are smiling with their entire face. In a nutshell, smiling with fewer moves on the faces experience the benefits to a lesser degree. Next time, when you need a boost of energy, smile. 

The smile on your face could literally make you happier, healthier, more attractive. Allow yourself to watch a funny movie, play with your pets or kids or nephews, or anything that can lights you up at heart after work or after class.


Nevertheless, some studies have shown that smiling too much might make your potential employer consider you to be less serious or competent. Smiling too much might make some people wondered of your sincerity or take that as a personal weakness. At a job interview, smiling at the beginning and end of an interview is enough to show your sincerity and politeness.

#facial expressions # stress responses # systemic inflammation #psychological morbidity. 


Relevant Posts

Six Science-Based Reasons Why Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Our Emotions Affect Our Immune Response: Frequent exposure to negative emotions may impact the functioning of the immune system.

Chronic low-grade inflammation is a core pathophysiological process that may be involved in many age-related diseases: the relationships among stress, negative emotions and inflammation


feedback loop 中文:反饋迴路

cortisol 中文: 皮質醇
adrenaline 中文: 腎上腺素
dopamine 中文:多巴胺

endorphins 中文: 內啡肽



Margaret W. Lavigne 司馬儀

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