How smiling affects your health We all know that laughter is good for you, but did you know even just the simple act of smiling can benefit your health, too? Smiling often can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, prevent or combat depression, and reduce stress. It can also improve your moods, help you to relax, and it may even help you live longer. Scientists discovered when they asked a group of people to perform a difficult task, the individuals who smiled the whole way through had lower stress levels and heart rates than those who did not smile. Every time you smile, your body releases feel-good chemicals—serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Endorphins are a natural pain reliever, and they don’t cause any negative side effects, unlike prescription painkillers. Scientists observed that people who smiled or maintained a neutral facial expression during an uncomfortable procedure reported less pain than those who frowned during the same procedure. Many prescription drugs for depression affect your serotonin levels, but by simply smiling, you can produce your own serotonin for free, without the negative side effects of a drug and no prescription needed. The effects of smiling are a never-ending cycle, but a good one! When we are happy, we smile, which causes endorphins to release that makes us happier, which makes us smile even more. But the cycle doesn’t have to begin with being happy. If you put on a smile, even if it’s a fake one, it can improve your mood. So the next time you’re stressed or sad, try to take a few moments to just smile. Just by turning your frown upside down, you can turn your mood around!