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The Secret of Smiles

Updated on September 30, 2011

Scientists found that smiles and laughter are forms of exercises similar to internal jogging that can stimulate the whole body. A smile can provide useful benefits to the brain’s nervous system and body hormones.

Western researchers and practitioners believe that by starting the day with a smile it will not only brighten up our life but also provide many benefits to our health. When we smile, our bodies will be 'smiling' and assume that we are happy. Research showed that smiles will slow down the blood flows through the sinus to the brain. When this “cool” blood flows to the hypothalamus (the body part that controls body temperature and emotions), it creates a "happy" effect. In addition, when we smile, we only use 17 muscles of the face compared to 43 during frowned.

A smile is not just a facial reaction, but also has to do with the production of endorphins in the brain that reduces physical and emotional pain that makes a person feels more comfortable.

One research shows that individual who laughs 100 times in 24 hours is getting the benefits similar to the benefits of exercising the cardiovascular for 10 minutes. This happens because when we laugh, our blood pressures and heart beat rates increase. Then these two rates will drop lower than the level before we laugh after we stop. Thus, it helps lower our overall blood pressures and heart beat rates.

If we observe around us, we will probably find that children laugh more than adults. Children age between four and six years old, laugh 400 times a day compared to only 15 times a day in adults. Therefore, it is not surprised that adults are more susceptible to illnesses and easily suffer from stress and depression.

A study made by a group of scientists from the University of California Medical Center explained that there are two types of stresses, there are good stress and bad stress. Smiles and laughter were categorized as good stress. The bad stress will put pressure on the immune system.

In the above study, two groups of adults have been used as subjects of the experiment. The first group was shown humorous stories while the second group was placed in a room without doing anything. A blood sample was taken 10 minutes before and after the study was made. From the results of the blood sample, the former was found to be better as there was an increase in hormones 'endorphins' and hormones 'neurotransmitters'. There was also a decline in the levels of stress hormone 'cortisol' and 'adrenaline'.

When we laugh, tumor killer cells and natural virus in the body will increase in line with the increase in gamma-interferon (disease fighting protein), T cells (which is important for the immune system) and B cells (which produce antibodies to fight disease). Therefore, smile can help the body to combat the bad cells and improve our overall immunity.

Smile can also lower our blood pressure, increase the inclusion of oxygen in the blood and indirectly stimulate the healing process. Many studies have proven that emotional stresses such as depression, anger or anxiety are strongly associated with heart disease.

A smile followed by laughter will activate the body chemicals and indirectly lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, arthritis and ulcers. University of Maryland Medical Center’s study that was done on 300 respondents found that 40 percent of the people who suffer from heart diseases laugh less comparing to those who are healthy.

Smiles and laughter are good exercise because it involves the diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles. Laughter massages the organs in the abdominal and strengthens the abdominal muscles, stimulates both sides of the brain and increases the capacity to learn. It relieves muscle tension and psychological stress; makes the brain more alert and ready to receive new information.

Laughter is also said to improve bowel function, thereby improving digestion and absorption of nutrients in the body. Some believe that laughter can burn calories such as when we exercise for a few minutes.

Besides providing various benefits to the body, in the teachings of some religions, it is believed that a smile is a charity, a Metta, a sign of love. Smile could be a spiritual healer in chronic diseases. Smile is free, no capital is required, just smile from the bottom of your heart and you will win another smile back. A smile could brighten up the day of ourselves and others. It may also be able to cool a furious heart and start a better relationship.

A poet once said: "SMILES IS THE PETALS. LAUGHTER IS THE PERFECTLY BLOSSOMED FLOWERS". There is also another saying that proposes “Laughter is the best medicine”. Smile and laugh as much as we can, and we are on our way to longevity!


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    • kidsworld profile image

      kidsworld 6 years ago

      Smiling is so easy and yet could have so much benefit to us, will makesure to smile more. Thanks for sharing!

    • MMelody profile image

      MMelody 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Smiling is the best way to welcome and greet people. Thanks for sharing!

    • idex231 profile image

      idex231 6 years ago from MY

      Give it a try, smile or laugh whenever you can. I personally try to laugh at my own mistakes, laugh at myself when I accidentally do some silly things...etc. Basically, just try to find opportunity to smile and laugh, and you will notice that it is really "no big deal", just move on after the big smile/laugh, and the day will be brighter.

    • profile image

      happyyeo 6 years ago

      Great hub. I seldom smile. After reading this article, I think I should make a change. Thanks for sharing.

    • umakeit profile image

      umakeit 6 years ago

      Smiles and laughter are good excercise and love for us to start the day with full energy. Good article and thanks for sharing.

    • klyyong profile image

      klyyong 6 years ago

      Everybody smile and cheer up always! We cannot stop too long at the junction when we are down, life has to go on. Smile and laughter heal; it is TRUE, indeed. Good article, voted up.

    • dvdlyw profile image

      dvdlyw 6 years ago from Singapore

      yes, we smile less when we grown up, good article to remind us of the importance of smile, thanks for sharing!

    • mrcan profile image

      mrcan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Great and informative article! Thumbs up!

    • henrygogoals profile image

      henrygogoals 6 years ago from Singapare

      :)I should smiles more.

    • martinyz profile image

      martinyz 6 years ago

      This article opens the secret to all. Thanks.

    • profile image

      josheen1988 6 years ago

      great hub!

    • GT Ooi profile image

      GT Ooi 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

      Smile melts heart too, more the often we feel very welcome if the person carry a smile on their face.

    • profile image

      abacus2000bc 6 years ago

      Yes, Bee Gees has at least two songs starts with smile. 1) Smile for Me and 2) Words. Should go Karaoke to sing now and start smiling.

    • idex231 profile image

      idex231 6 years ago from MY

      Oh, i just recalled there was one community song "smile" once ran on TV, and I love to sing with it. It goes something like this if I remember it right:

      A smile is such a funny thing,

      it lightens up your face,

      and when it's gone,

      you'll never find it secret hiding place;

      but far more wonderful it is to see what smile can do, you smile at me, i smile at you,

      and so one smile makes two!

      Smile, smile, it isn't hard to do,

      smile for the world and the world smile with you!!

    • bjtutu profile image

      bjtutu 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Totally agree that smile can bring a lot of benefits in respect to health. Thanks a lot for the sharing. I'll definately smile more.

    • My Footprints profile image

      My Footprints 6 years ago from MY

      Smile and the whole world will smile with you. and laughter are antidotes of a healthy you. I particularly love to see smiles and laughters of toddlers and babies…they are contagious and healing to the soul. I love to make them smile. :-) Make my day!

    • ilitek profile image

      ilitek 6 years ago


    • profile image

      ghiblipg 6 years ago

      no doubt, a smile can resolve thousand of problems

    • beginners-dslr profile image

      beginners-dslr 6 years ago from Malaysia

      I agree that a hearty chuckle can stimulate the healing process indirectly. The old adage is true, laughter is the best medicine. Thanks for the sharing and voted up!

    • activedragon profile image

      activedragon 6 years ago

      Definitely agree. Laughter is the best medicine. Keep smiling and writing. Thanks for the article.