Five great reasons to smile!

To coincide with National Smile Month, we’ve been finding out how smiling can be good for you, your health and your social life!

1. Smiling can make you happy (even when you're not)
The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain telling it that you're happy. And when you're happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins.

2. Smiling lowers stress and anxiety
It’s not always easy to smile when you’re feeling anxious or stressed but studies show that doing just that has health benefits. When recovering from a stressful situation, study participants who were smiling had lower heart rates than those with neutral facial expressions.

3. Smiling makes you more attractive!
Smiling suggests that you are approachable, easy-going and empathetic. In fact a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that smiling makes you more attractive to those you smile at.

4. Smiling keeps you healthy
Smiling can help to strengthen your immune system by making your body produce more white blood cells to help fight illness. One study found that hospitalised children who were visited by story-tellers and puppeteers who made them smile and laugh had higher white blood cell counts than children who weren’t visited.

5. Smiling can help you make friends
If you want to make friends then it helps to turn that frown upside down! Studies have found that people are more willing to engage socially with others who are smiling. A smile is an inviting facial expression that tells people you are willing to talk and interact with them.

National Smile Month