Could Smiling More Help You Live Longer?

A good smile can brighten up the room. People who frequently smile are perceived to be more in control, at ease and attractive than those who don’t. (Lau, 1982). However, a genuine smile may do more than just improve your appearance, according to an article posted on Livestrong.com back in 2009.

The posting suggests “people who smile more often have a more positive effect on their environment and are better received by others.” Something everyone interested in healthy aging has probably known for years.

A recent post on DallasNews.com entitled “Study: People who smile a lot live longer,” said, “research already had shown those who smile a lot are usually happier, have more stable personalities, more stable marriages, better cognitive skills and better interpersonal skills. In the latest study, Wayne State University researchers used information from the Baseball Registry to look at photos of 230 players who debuted in professional baseball before 1950. Photos were enlarged and smiles were rated (big smile, no smile, partial smile) and compared with data from deaths. Researchers corrected for other factors associated with longevity.

For players who had died, those with big smiles lived an average of five years longer than non-smilers,” the article states. (The article was based on a study conducted by the journal Psychological Science referenced on www.time.com in an article entitled “How to Lift Your Mood? Try Smiling.”

And smiling actually uses fewer muscles than frowning, so it’s easy to do, no matter how old you are. Now if that doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.

There are, in fact, innumerable benefits to be had from smiling. Here’s a list of 10 published on longevity.com:

  1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive
  2. Smiling Changes Our Mood
  3. Smiling Is Contagious
  4. Smiling Relieves Stress
  5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System
  6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure
  7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin
  8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger
  9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful
  10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

And I’m going to add Reason #11, my personal favorite…a well-placed grin makes people wonder what you’re up to. I use this one frequently with great effect.

As rare as it is to find something that is fun, easy AND good for you, there’s no reason to hold back. So take a moment now to spread those corners of your mouth…yes, that’s right…ah, now doesn’t that feel good? Congratulations! You’ve just added five more seconds to your life, give or take, and you’re well on your way to becoming positively old.

P.S. Ever notice how many comedians seem to enjoy long, healthy lives? Here’s a couple of recent posts from two of my favorites.

Cloris Leachman – Still Stealing the Show at 84

Betty White Jokes Her Way to Superstardom at 88

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Comments
3 Responses to “Could Smiling More Help You Live Longer?”
  1. Lors says:

    Smiling increases your face value.

  2. As long as it’s not an uptight, phony smile. Those don’t work. No one is fooled. A smile that comes from the heart and reaches the eyes — there’s nothing better.

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