What Smiling and Laughing Can Do

What Smiling and Laughing Can Do

It is easy to get consumed in life’s troubles and worries and forget how important it is for us to smile and laugh. As hard as it might be to believe, smiling and laughing have health and mood benefits. Smiling and laughing affects your stress, mood, and immune system all in positive ways.

“The physical and psychological benefits of laughter and smiling are plentiful,” says an article by UWA. “Research shows that those who consciously or subconsciously smile more live better.”

Here are 7 benefits of smiling and laughing constantly:

  • Makes your mood better

When one smiles the body releases three hormones that make us feel better, those are dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. Dopamine gives us satisfaction and pleasure. Serotonin deals with our moods and gives us happiness. Endorphins relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve your sense of well-being. All these together are what make smiles and laughter help us feel better and happier, causing our mood to improve.

“Something as simple as looking through favorite photos on your phone or creating an album can bring a smile to your face,” says an article written by Envolve Health. “You’ll be surprised by how much your mood can improve by doing something as effortless as smiling!”

  • Decreases Stress

As mentioned before, smiling releases hormones that produce happiness, satisfaction, and relaxation, as a result those can lower our stress. Also, smiling reduces hormones caused by stress and blood pressure which lead to a healthier cardiovascular system. When stressed, viewing and listening content that make us crack a smile or start laughing uncontrollably can make us feel more calm.

“The next time you are stuck in traffic or are experiencing some other type of stress you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment,” said Sarah Pressman, a researcher. “Not only will it help you ‘grin and bear it’ psychologically, but it might actually help your heart health as well.”

Mr. McDermott is all smiles.
  • Reduces Pain

A Swiss team conducted a research experiment in which some people kept their hands in ice water while laughing at comedy films, while others just kept their hands in ice water without laughing. Those laughing were able to keep their hands in cold water for longer than those who were not laughing. This could have happened because when humans laugh our bodies release endorphins, which can temporarily reduce body aches or minor pains.

“A possible explanation could be that humor activates the release of endorphins and relieves muscular tension, thus having an effect on pain on both a mental and physical level,” says Dr. Ian Mason.

We do have to be careful to note that the laughter must be genuine, often referred to as a “Duchenne expression”. When one smiles with a “Duchenne smile” it comes from the heart and that is what causes it to have great effect on physical pain. Genuine smiles and laughter can even increase one’s pain tolerance.

“Our studies show that only ‘real’ delight, actually experienced and accompanied by a Duchenne expression, leads to increased pain tolerance,” said Professor Willibald Ruch from Zurich University.

  • Improves Immune System

Laughing and smiling releases neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that our bodies contain. They carry messages from one nerve cell to another nerve, muscle, or cell gland, which help us to move, feel, and respond to external information. When we laugh and smile we also release small proteins called neuropeptides which maintain immune tolerance and can help to fight illnesses and diseases. A simple smile or minutes of laughter are able to release these messengers which after a process are able to protect one’s immune system by fighting off diseases.

“Life can be hectic so make sure to include humor in your daily routine,” says an article by Envolve Health. “Whether it’s watching your favorite comedy or sharing funny videos or memes with friends it’s important to find ways to keep the mood light and find time to have a laugh.”

  • Makes You More Approachable

As we are in public, we see many people with all different kinds of expressions. From their expressions we get the sense of whether they are nice and kind or someone that you might want to stay away from, most of the time we see the former that way because they are smiling or laughing. A smile on one’s face makes them look approachable. People that constantly smile genuinely tend to give us a feeling of comfortability and security because they look approachable and nice. It is those that have a kind smile on their face that we gravitate to if we need help, seeking a friend, or simply just wanting to talk.

“We are naturally drawn to people who smile,” says Mark Stibich, PhD. “While more severe or negative facial expressions like frowns, scowls, and grimaces work in the opposite manner, effectively pushing people away, smiling is seen as more attractive – and people may even assume you have more positive personality traits if you’re smiling.”

  • Helps To Stay Positive

A person that is constantly laughing and smiling stays more positive because they seek good in everything and are more grateful. Although at times it is hard to have a smile on one’s face due to hard circumstances, even in those hard times forcing a smile can make one feel more positive and better overall.

“In fact, even if you force a smile, you’ll feel better. While it might not be a natural Duchenne smile, you can in fact make yourself feel better simply by forcing a smile,” says an article by UWA. “Interestingly, a small British study even suggested those who used BOTOX and physically could not frown felt happier.”

  • Impacts Others Positively

How often have you heard someone laughing and laughed too? To a lot of people that has happened often because smiles and laughter are contagious. As we laugh and smile, we are able to boost other people’s moods by making them laugh or smile too. When we see that our expression positively impacted someone else, we are rewarded with a feeling of satisfaction and happiness.

“Smiling not only can elevate your mood, but it can also change the moods of others for the better,” says Stibich.


After all those benefits that smiling and laughing produce, we can definitely agree that smiling and laughing is worth it for our physiological and mental health. So engage with others that make you laugh, find humorous shows, videos, and old memories that help you crack a smile. Even in hard times laugh with others and at yourself, even if you must force the smile.

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do,” says Mother Teresa.