5 Reasons to Crack a Smile

I’ve overslept, stubbed my toe on that damn shower step again and found a pimple on my chin. Rushing out of the door to get the kids to school, I have to turn back because I’ve left my phone on the kitchen counter and my children have bickered all the way to school. By the time we arrive, there’s a grey cloud above me raining down dark mood, with gale-force lashings of anxiety.

Then something magical happens. As I walk my daughter to her class, 3 parents smile at me, prompting me to smile back and by the time I get back to my car, I am feeling pretty upbeat. Suddenly this day doesn’t seem such a non-starter after all.

Smiling can help you live longer, enhance the beautiful creature you already are and reduce stress. Here are 5 reasons for you to smile today.

Smiling Woman


When we smile we release a rush of chemicals that naturally manage and uplift mood. Endorphins are known as “feel good” chemicals and the way they work is similar to that of opioids. Their role is to help the nervous system deal with pain and stress and can induce a feeling of euphoria. Research has shown that laughter can increase the release of endorphins to the brain. When a runner hits a “runner’s high” and feels like they can keep running forever, this is the result of an increase in endorphins. 


Seratonin is a mood stabilizer and it helps to regulate anxiety. Many of today’s anti-depressants work on the serotonin levels in your brain. When you smile you release serotonin, so you get the naturally-occurring effects of this neurotransmitter in all their glory.

Dopamine is a nerve messenger that plays a role in how we experience pleasure. Along with serotonin, they are often referred to as our “happy hormones”. This chemical is responsible for motivation and feelings of excitement. Many symptoms that cause depression have been associated with low levels of dopamine, so it is not surprising that a flood of these to our system adds a spring to our step.


Studies have shown that there is a correlation between smiling and other peoples’ assessment of attractiveness. This may have to do with the association of a smile with good feelings and those emotions impacting the perception of the viewer. Whatever the reason, smiling draws people to you and makes you appear more attractive.


Happiness has an impact on the immune system. Not only have some studies shown immune systems to be weaker on days where individuals have recorded negative moods, but people intentionally exposed to humorous content before exposure to the cold virus were less likely to catch it, than those who had not been.


Smiling is contagious and impacts others around you. If you smile at someone, they are pretty likely to smile back and if they do, they would be subject to all the physical benefits their smile would give them. What a truly remarkable gift, to be able to do this for another human being.

Find a reason to smile today and if you can’t, try anyway – the mere act might just give you something to smile about.