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Why smiling is healthy

A well known song of Charlie Chaplin (performed in a very moving way by Jermaine Jackson, at the memorial service of MJ) has the following passage:

‘Smile! What’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.’

Laughing is healthy, they say, but why? For many reasons, actually! Purely physical alone: When you smile/laugh (the louder, the better) your brain releases a chemical called endorphin. This is a natural painkiller and has a soothing effect, which lowers blood pressure. Laughing also strengthens your blood vessels as well as increases the blood flow, so it’s very good for your heart! Furthermore, your immune system is strengthened during laughing. Your body produces so called natural killer cells. This type of cell is comparable to Mo of the movie Wall-E, it scans every cell and destroys the ‘bad guys’ like tumor cells. And, during a good laughing fit, antibodies are produced, that get rid of stress hormones. So laughing is seriously stress reducing! (In the clip below that fact is demonstrated in a very funny way :D)

Getting back to Charlie Chaplin, the good man was absolutely right. Even when you don’t feel well, and smiling or laughing is the last thing you want to do, it helps when you just make yourself do it anyway. Slowly, but surely, you will actually start to feel better. You are kind of fooling your own body, but it really works! A fun detail (about which a could fill a whole other blog) is that it is not as easy to fol other people. A fake smile is usually easy to spot. Try doing the BBC-test to check how well your people insight is ;)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/

 

XOXO Maruja

Charlie_Chaplin

 

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One Response to Why smiling is healthy

  1. christophe September 23, 2013 at 5:05 am #

    Hello Maruja
    Thank you for your article interesting and informative.
    I also think that smiling people are usually much more attractive and much more interesting to patronize (although everyone has their moments of sadness).
    So, as you say SMILE, or for those who do not know, say “cheeeeeeeeese” !!!!
    Thank you again for your article Maruja and have a good day.

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