Smiling Lowers Blood Pressure

How Smiling Lowers Blood Pressure

A smile is a powerful thing. A person with a beautiful smile – and an overall positive attitude – is likely to not only live longer but enjoy a few benefits throughout his\her life. They tend to have better relationships, better jobs, better marriages, a healthier work environment, as well as an enhanced general health. That is not just wishful thinking, but a true scientific fact as we’ll demonstrate in a bit. So let’s dive into the actual health benefits of smiling, focusing particularly on a disease that ravishes a large percentage of the world’s population: High blood pressure. Here we focus on the effect of smiles on blood pressure, and how smiling lowers blood pressure among other health benefits.

What Happens In Your Body When You Smile?

When you smile, you literally enter a state of a rush or a high. Not unlike taking recreational drugs, only the natural way. Smiling stimulates the brain to release a number of chemicals, mainly Serotonin, Dopamine, and Endorphins, which are considered the “anti-stress” hormones. Their effect resonates throughout the body and helps it stay healthy and young, and free from many ailments including high blood pressure. So yes, smiling lowers blood pressure, but how?

What Do These Released Chemicals Do?

  1. Improves your immune system:

    Smiling puts the immune system into overdrive. Not only that, but it stimulates the production of more white blood cells (the body’s guardians against bacteria and germs). Studies have shown that positive people with a smile on their face get sick less often, are less likely to be hospitalized, and are less likely for post-operative infections.

  2. Reduction of stress:

    Stress is caused by a few hormones, mainly Cortisol, Adrenaline, and Nor-Adrenaline. The endorphins released by the brain during smiling counteract the effects of these stress hormones. Even in highly stressful situations, you would find a smile able to deflate the problem, lowering your heart rate and making you think more clearly.

  3. Reduction of pain:

    Not just emotional pain, but actual physical pain. In addition to being the body’s anti-stress hormone, endorphins are also the body’s natural pain killer. A potent painkiller nonetheless, equivalent to Morphine and Opioids.

  4. Mood elevation:

    You might think: “I’m smiling, so I’m already happy. I don’t need my mood elevated anymore”. However, it also works the other way around. When you are depressed, and you try to smile, the release of Dopamine acts as a natural anti-depressant. So what we’re saying is: Smile, even if you have to force it. It will instantly make you feel better.

  5. Lowering blood pressure:

    More on how smiling lowers blood pressure in detail in a bit.

  6. Maintaining a young look:

    This has nothing to do with the chemicals, but the physical act of smiling. The face has 43 muscles that control facial appearance. When you smile, you engage a number of these muscles, keeping them healthy and strong. Subsequently, the skin over these muscles remains healthy and stretched. People who are always smiling usually look younger and with fewer wrinkles.

  7. Living longer:

    After all that was said above, is it really a surprise that smiling, happy and positive people have longer lifespans?

How Smiling Lowers Blood Pressure

Smiling has a miraculous effect on the body and all its systems. We already established what Endorphins (improving immunity, lowering stress ..etc.) and that has a direct effect on blood pressure, maintaining it at a constant low.

Not only that, but when you smile, your heart initially pumps faster and harder, delivering oxygen to all the body cells (especially muscles used in laughing). After that brief elevation, the heart slows down to a steady beat and remains at that rate for a while. With the decrease in heart rate comes a decrease in blood pressure as well.

The exact mechanism is still under a lot of research. The beauty of it – though – is that you can test that theory for yourself. All you have to do is take a blood pressure reading, laugh or smile for a minute, and take another reading. See how that works out for you.

What does Smiling Do On A Social Level?

We established what smiling can do for your health. On the other hand, it can also do wonders for your social life. Here are some of the proven facts about people with great smiles:

  • They have a better chance of getting their dream jobs. It makes sense that a person who wows their interviewer with a winning smile could get the job, especially if that job requires a great smile such as sales agents or customer service personnel.
  • They have better work relationships with their peers. At work, you are generally drawn to the smilers rather than the frowners. They are just easier to talk to about work problems and otherwise.
  • Based on the above 2 points, people with great smiles have better career success. This is known as the Halo effect, and it is receiving a lot of attention from researchers worldwide.
  • They are deemed more friendly and trustworthy. In fact, they are so trustworthy that they are more trusted in courts during hearings and trials.
  • They have more friends and better personal relationships. And how could they not?
  • They are happier in marriage, and likely to stay married for a longer time compared to negative people.

Knowing All That, Why Don’t People Smile More?

Life is stressful, no doubt. On some days, there is just no reason to smile, and every reason to frown. Positive people try to battle through these situations, and if they succeed, they would achieve greatness.

However, there is another – physical – reason not to smile, and that’s being embarrassed by your smile. If you have a missing tooth, a gap between your teeth, stained teeth, or any other problem affecting the appearance of your teeth, you are less likely to show them, and that is where we can help.

If you want to know more about how smiling lowers blood pressure, improves your lifestyle, and generally makes you healthier and happier, and how we can help you achieve that winning smile, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Jerek Petrous, Dr. John Marx, and the team at Petrous Orthodontics. You can reach us on (248) 588-2020, or find us at 2110 E 12 Mile Rd Royal Oak, MI 48067.