To smile each day can be challenging, especially if you don’t think you have anything to smile about. If you look harder, you’ll find you may have more to smile about than you think.
But even if things still feel grim, forcing a grin every day can set the stage for a more pleasant day. Doing so first thing in the morning can reap a host of benefits, which can improve your outlook on life.
5 Powerful Benefits of Starting Your Day With a Smile
1. Better Mood
When I wake up with a smile, it reminds me of everything I have to be grateful for. I’ve started to work on a gratitude list and write in a journal. Getting my thoughts out first thing in the morning can help me ground myself and prepare for the day — and it helps me keep in mind all the blessings I have to be grateful for.
Morning pages can help you journal your thoughts without fear or worry, without having to self-edit or focus on making your writing or emotions look good. This time of self-reflection helps clear my mind and makes me more positive — giving me plentiful reasons to smile. Starting my day off by writing makes it much easier to smile throughout the day and stay happier from dawn to dusk.
2. Increased Immunity
Nothing is more valuable to me than mine and my loved ones’ health — so it’s best to safeguard it by any means possible. Smiling more each day can actually boost your immune system, and laughing each day helps you produce more antibodies, which can protect you from any illness that breaches your body. I notice I feel much happier when I laugh the day away.
Laughter also relaxes your entire body, which means that, over time, you’ll reap the benefits of more robust blood vessels and better blood flow. This improved cardiovascular strength can protect you from several ailments, such as heart disease or heart attacks.
3. Lower Stress Levels
Smiling has definitely lowered my stress levels. A smile encourages microscopic neuropeptides to destroy any tension in the body. People say laughter is the best medicine, and in a way, they’re right. Smiling can decrease some of your stress, which lessens your risk of developing chronic diseases.
Smiling has also been proven to help you alter your mindset about various situations. When faced with relentless negativity, I face it with a smile. Smiling signals to my body that I’m happy and feeling good — even if I’m really not — and encourages me to think of different solutions to a problem. Doing this has taught me that every troublesome moment is an opportunity to learn more.
Simple smiles have reframed my brain to see a bit of the positive in everything, no matter how little sunshine there may be.
4. Lessened Symptoms of Mental Illness
Smiling can release the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin fights depression and can reduce symptoms of mental illness. Smiling isn’t the only way to boost serotonin — I often spend time outside or exercise to help with that — but it’s a quick way to give me a boost in the middle of my day.
Smiling can’t eliminate all instances of mental illness, but it can make some of the symptoms more manageable over time. I’ve noticed my mental health improving by smiling and reframing situations as positive ones. However, smiling can’t replace therapy or medications, and it’s no substitute for seeing a professional.
5. Spreads Cheer
I’ve noticed that when I smile, other people do, too. Having a cheerful disposition will certainly trickle into other people’s emotions. People are more likely to perceive me as friendly when I put on a smile. Smiling can open up plenty of opportunities, too — I’ve made so many new friends just by doing it more. I’ve seen the whole world open up a bit once I physically show everyone that I’m an open person. I believe it’s made me seem warm and more inviting.
Someone may need a smile today. I’m never shy in handing out smiles because you never know when one can improve a person’s whole day. Seeing my smile may even encourage them to persevere throughout the trials of their day. Even if it doesn’t benefit anyone, it doesn’t do any harm, either — so I smile as liberally as I can.
Smile Again and Again
Smiling won’t solve all problems, unfortunately. I still face my fair share of difficulties, but putting on a grin lessens some of the effects I feel from adverse circumstances. Smiling every day requires almost no effort and has no downsides — so I stand to lose nothing but gain many benefits. Even if you’re cynical, you should try it. It can improve your life in more ways than one!