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World Smile Day: Here's why smiling is good for your health!

This World Smile Day, you must know how smiling can not only make you look beautiful, it can also give you a lot of health benefits. Just smile to be healthy and happy!

We have always been told to smile more often. Turns out, that suggestion is very helpful indeed. The simple act of smiling can impart a number of health benefits to your body, say scientific studies. Here are some health benefits of smiling.

A smiling partner can keep you healthy: A research by Michigan State University states that having a happy, smiling partner can keep you healthy and fit as you grow older. A smiling partner equates to a happy partner which may enhance the health of the couple. In the study of 1,981 middle-aged couples, researchers found that people with spouses who smiled frequently were much more likely to report better health over time. The researchers found that smiling, happy partners provide 'stronger social support such as care-taking, as compared to unhappy partners who are more likely to be focused on their own stressors.' People who smiled often were also healthier because they followed good health habits such as maintaining regular sleep cycles, eating nutritious food and exercising. The study was published by the American Psychological Association in the journal Health Psychology.

Smiling can reduce stress: The next time you feel stressed, just smile. Researchers at the University of Kansas revealed that smiling during episodes of stress can help to reduce its intensity regardless of whether a person actually feels happy or not. Smiles are generally divided into two categories: standard smiles, which use the muscles surrounding the mouth, and genuine or Duchenne smiles, which engages the muscles surrounding both the mouth and eyes, the journal Psychological Science reports. The results suggest that smiling may actually influence our physical state: compared to participants who held neutral facial expressions, those who were asked to smile, and in particular, those with Duchenne smiles, had lower heart rate levels after recovery from the stressful activities. These findings show that smiling during brief stressors can help to reduce the intensity of the body's stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.

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Smiling can improve memory and cognition: A study says that smiling reduces detrimental stress hormones like cortisol that decrease memory hippocampal neurons, lowers the blood pressure, and increases blood flow and makes the mood better. The act of smiling releases endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which provides a sense of pleasure and reward and the positive and beneficial neurochemical changes, in turn, make the immune system function better.

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