18882079_10158768208965524_1180985150837098535_nYour smile is one of the easiest, painless and medication free ways you can increase your longevity, health, happiness and overall well-being. The expression of a cheerful heart is a basic human behavior that is unfortunately, so commonly overlooked.

Studies show just by smiling a little more each day, you reap the benefits of feeling great and looking pretty awesome too. Here a few reasons why laughter really is the best medicine

  • Burn some calories while you have a good chuckle. Research has shown that laughing for 10 – 15 minutes a day burns up to 40 calories and relaxes muscles for up to 45 minutes. It’s a great form of exercise.
  • Overload your immune system with all the good stuff it needs. Yes, laughing actually increases your blood flow, balances your hormones, improves heart rate and overall leaves you less prone to sickness.
  • Positivity is your best friend. When you laugh, you release endorphins often known as the “happiness hormones.” Endorphins release leaves you with increased positive emotions and thinking.
  • Don’t worry, be happy. Bobby McFerrin was on to something! Being exposed to or experiencing laughter has been proven to protect you from feelings of depression, anxiety or fears. A study reported a group of people were asked to watch ten funny cartoons before taking a math test. Compared to participants who red ten poems, the group who did more laughing had decreased anxiety about the test. This lead to higher test scores for the cartoon group, demonstrating laughter really is good for your mental health
  • Just enjoy life. Smiling is just more enjoyable than not smiling. Challenges are inevitable and life always throws a few tough breaks our way. But, strapping on a smile helps us tough it out with confidence and determination. Laughing at the littlest things in life will help us weather the storm, build healthier relationships and overall, live happier lives.

Maybe your dog learned a new trick, grandpa told a corny joke, your 4 year old just used your lipstick as a paint brush, (try to smile after the anger settles) or maybe you just saw the most beautiful flower bed or sunset or watched the comedy of the year.

Whatever it is, find a reason to spare a smile. You’ll be happy you did!