De-Stress|Laugh More: Smiling Rewards Your Brain

By Research  Writer: Margaret W. Lavigne 

Smiling Rewards Your Brain

Our brains are keeping track of how many smiles we created, which somehow affects our unconscious mind.  Our brains feel happy each time we smile. Smiling activates the release of feel-good- hormones to counter stress. When we smile, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin all released into the bloodstream, helping lower our heart rate and blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Kansas found that smiling helps lower heart rate in tedious anxious situations.

Smiling helps generate positive emotions within us, leading to lowe stress-induced hormones. Smiling speeds recovery from short-term stress. Also, smiling during exercise make a workout more enjoyable.

 Another study linked smiling to longevity. One study found that women who had smiled the most in their college yearbook photos had happier lives and fewer personal setbacks in the following three decades. 

Taiwanese actress 

Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release helps reduce our stress. Low levels of serotonin is highly associated with depression and aggression. It’s worth noting that endorphins are natural painkillers. Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that helps defeat stress. Altogether, smiling proved to lift our mood, lower stress, boost our immune system and resistance.


▲ Kate Middleton


Ultrasounds have found babies smile in the womb, and babies smile in their sleep.  Darwin found that those who are born blind smile too. People fail to smile because they suffer from mild depression, suppressed anger or anxiety without awareness. 


When you’re so frustrated, try grinning instead. Studies suggest smiling is good for our body psychologically and physiologically, whether you feel happy or not. There’s an old proverb that goes “grin and bear it.” Also, the Bible reminds us to enjoy the hard times in life with hope, self-discipline, temperance and tenderness. Research published in 2007 in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology concludes that focusing on positive thoughts helps improve feelings over time. Nevertheless, smiling is not an antidote for long-term acute stressors.


Laugh More to Those You Love 

Everyone likes being smiled at. Scientists found that seeing a smiling face activates our orbitofrontal cortex. In other words, seeing a smile makes us feel rewarded. That’s why smiling makes you more attractive. Much like yawning, negative and positive emotions are infectious.

▲Famed Taiwanese actor and Korean actress 


In a Swedish study, subjects were shown pictures of different emotions, including joy, fear, anger, and surprise. The participants were told to frown when shown a smiling person. Indeed, participants tend to echo the emotions of a smiling person rather than following the instructions by nature.


 Fake Smiles Work Well 

The brain fails to tell the difference between fake smiles and real smiles.  Dr. Sivan Finkel, being a cosmetic dentist at NYC’s The Dental Parlour, claims that “Even forcing a fake smile can legitimately reduce stress and lower your heart rate.”


A study performed by a group at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who could not frown due to botox injections were happier than those who frown.


Dr. Murray Grossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist in Los Angeles points to the science of psychoneuroimmunology, asserts that depression weakens our immune system and he claims that  “Just the physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity.” 

Dr. Grossan adds that  “When you smile, the brain sees the muscle [activity] and assumes that humor is happening.”



Those who fail to smile may experience depressive symptoms without awareness or not, which might cause a strong negative feedback loop. Conversely, smiling initiates and activates happiness of the brain, contributing to persistent stable positive emotions.


Smiling shifts our mood and affects how we feel and think. Set it a routine to spend 60 seconds every morning smiling when you wake up. By doing so, it helps you feel less stressed and generate a different perspective. By doing so, it helps you stay upbeat and being hopeful. By doing so, it helps you more energized and avoid burnout. A smile makes us feel better and fight against Satan’s attack, because Satan loves the smell of negative emotions.



Duchamp’s smile 

A Duchamp’s smile means you smile without using your mouth. Smiling with your eyes helps channel good thoughts and good emotions Smiling with your eyes does help you keep pleasant and positive emotions persistently.


Stay optimistic and keep a real smile throughout the day. Children are the ones who tend to be talented at laughing and smiling because they have less desire than adults. Indeed, those who are trapped by a sense of superiority, greed,  vanity or conceit have lower ability to be truly happy.


A Duchenne smile is named after Guillaume DuchenneTrusted Source, a 19th-century scientist who maps the muscles of facial expression.


A 2012 group of researchers Trusted Source demanded participants to maintain smiles throughout the stressful phases. The researchers concluded that smiling group stayed the lowest during stress recovery, with the calmest hearts being participants who had Duchenne smiles. Thus,  maintaining positive facial expressions during stress guarantee physiological and psychological benefits. Smile more and laugh more. A sense of humor is powerful and influential. 


Margaret W. Lavigne 

Purchase my publications on Amazon 


[1] Hatfield, Elaine; Cacioppo, John T.; Rapson, Richard L. Clark, Margaret S. (Ed), (1992). Primitive emotional contagion. Emotion and social behavior. Review of personality and social psychology, Vol. 14., (pp. 151-177). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc, xi, 311 pp.

[2] Abel E. and Kruger M. (2010) Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity, Psychological Science, 21, 542–544.

[3] Seaward BL. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett; 2009:258

[4] R.D. (2000). Neural correlates of conscious emotional experience. In R.D. Lane & L. Nadel (Eds.), Cognitive neuroscience of emotion (pp. 345–370). New York: Oxford University Press.

[5] Sonnby–Borgström, M. (2002), Automatic mimicry reactions as related to differences in emotional empathy. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 43: 433–443.

[6]Smiling with Your Eyes: What Exactly Is a Duchenne Smile? 

[7]How to De-Stress With a Smile


More info

  1. The Hidden Power of Smiling | Ron Gutman  |Ted Talk 
  2. Does Smiling Make You Happy?
  3. How the Brain Works: The Facts Visually Explained



Margaret W. Lavigne 司馬儀

There’s a strong link between imperfection, unconditional love and posttraumatic growth. In truth, we can only witness unconditional love in the hard times. If you believe in luck or miracles, be aware of the seven deadly sins and the seven heavenly virtues. According to the Bible, no one will be exempt from life challenges, including the chosen ones (1 Peter 1:3-9). God expects us to stay hopeful and “rejoice in our sufferings,” because “trials of various kinds” are training to make us “perfect and complete” (Romans 5:3-6, James 1:1-27). It’s comforting to know that “God promises to make something good out of the storm” (Roman 8: 28). We fall and we learn. As we learn to humble ourselves, life gets better. The connection between the brain and stomach is bidirectional. Excessive sugar intake sabotages our immune system that 70% to 80% of our immunity hinges on our gut health. Memory loss and cognitive impairment are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, all of which are highly connected to type 2 diabetes. Early signs of type 2 diabetes include chronic fatigue, irritability, frequent urination, vision problems and slow wound healing. Depression is prevalent in people with diabetes due to the fact that diabetes causes “structural changes in the brain.” It’s worth noting that muscle-building helps regulate blood sugar levels. There is growing evidence that high blood sugar leads to reduced muscle mass. Beyond that, there’s a strong link between sleep deprivation and emotional weakness Be aware of the power of tenderness, humility and subconscious mind. Generally, negative emotions root in the inability to forgive, vanity or pride. People suffer from suppressed anger. God is watching our every move. God sees through our motives. Mental health crisis is sweeping on a global scale because the core value of capitalism is incompatible with what human truly needs. Money cannot purchase inner peace nor unconditional love. Wealth incurs fair-weather friends, frenemies and snobs. I would say, inner peace is the utmost blessing from God. Trauma is highly linked to chronic fatigue and chronic illness. Take time to deal with your old mental wounds. 這裡不是天堂,我們必須勇敢!這輩子身體顧好了,你就賺到四百萬+++。人生,除了身體健康以外的事都是小事,而生病只是提醒不是懲罰,因為無常是:一個健康的人一出門就沒有再回家了,連道別的機會和準備都沒有。人們錯過的都是最悲傷最真實的故事!因為多數人可以分享的都無關緊要的痛或路人皆知的痛。佛教用因果論概括一切,而聖經主張人生必有難題(包括選民),但好好表現,災難背後會有禮物。如果你以為誰的人生很輕鬆,肯定是你跟對方不熟。脖子控管自律神經!肩頸僵硬,「自律神經」就會被受到壓迫!自律神經失調引發的症狀包括頭痛、暈眩、焦慮、失眠、倦怠、口渴、耳鳴,甚至憂鬱等症狀。自律神經失調了,血液的品質也會跟著惡化!解法:甩手操。建議多按壓頭皮、耳朵和手上的穴道。腸胃健康和大腦健康息息相關,國外大力探討久坐對身體的傷害!健康建議:天芢無糖抹茶搭配芝麻和牛奶X 無糖豆漿X鹼性飲食X淋巴按摩X提高肌肉量(控制血糖的關鍵,糖尿病是可逆轉的)。鈣是解痛劑(看牙科前)。維生素E主修復,可避免留疤。高壓容易緊張族群可多攝取維生素B和鈣的食物。一夜白頭是心理影響身體的鐵證,勿低估負面情緒對身體的傷害,包括生悶氣或憂愁。詳情請參看網站醫療專欄。壞脾氣一定有理由,可能是高血糖或創傷症候群或高壓族群,而壞情緒會把幸運福氣和天使嚇跑。禍福相依,好消息可能會成為頭痛點,壞消息可能成為跳板!不屬於自己的只會逗留,不會久留,勿強求。引用小說《推理愛》:「判斷一個人愛不愛她很難,但判斷一個人珍不珍惜她卻很簡單。」「柔和」「謙卑」與「歸零」的力量。自信缺氧,就用力學習。不自律就無法成為更好的自己,不自律就無法肯定自己!提醒自己做該做的而不是想做的。預防改善糖尿病推薦食材:洋蔥、無糖抹茶、咖哩及酪梨。理財時代,從照顧好自己的健康開始。遠離乳癌,醫師呼籲不要使用塑膠袋裝熱食!國外研究證實:阿茲海默症患者「禁糖」便可望痊癒!人們低估了「糖過量」及「過食」對身體的破壞力。咖啡和巧克力的好被過度放大.精神不濟喝咖啡恐消耗維生素B。聖經說了,說過的每句話都會被記錄在一本書裡!好壞都被記錄了,所以聖經主張人們不可記他人的過錯。最佳午睡時間是20分鐘和90分鐘。以上,互相督促。生命線協談專線:1995 安心專線:1925 張老師專線:1980 自殺防治諮詢安心專線:0800-788995 聯繫司馬儀(譬如跨界合作):Gmail: 




這個網站採用 Akismet 服務減少垃圾留言。進一步瞭解 Akismet 如何處理網站訪客的留言資料