Mandy Kloppers

Does Smiling Help with Depression?

You may already know it, but smiling is an excellent way to induce happiness. A smile is not only welcoming to others, but it can be the first step to healing depression and anxiety. Science has proven this through numerous studies, and while the idea is too simplistic, it works. In this article, we look at several studies that show how smiling can help people with depression to cope. 

  1. There is direct communication between the body and the brain

In one study, the participants were told to hold a pencil with their teeth, forcing their faces to smile. After a while, the subjects reported having experienced happy feelings. The body communicates with the brain directly, and they both affect each other positively or negatively. If you think happy thoughts, you will find yourself smiling or laughing. Similarly, if you smile or laugh, your brain will assume you are happy and manifest those feelings. 

  1. Smiling is contagious and attractive

Smiling people are more attractive to others, and frowning people repel. Unfortunately, one of the signs of depression is isolation and a frowning face. You have to be very deliberate to smile so you can make connections and stop repelling people. If you are not confident about your smile, get ethical, experienced, personalized dental care from Ranieu Family Dental. A quick trip to the dentist might be all you need to regain the confidence to smile. 

  1. Smiling helps to release endorphins and serotonin

The act of smiling induces the brain to release feel-good hormones like serotonin and reduce stress hormones. A physiological process happens when you smile, and it makes you feel better. Smiling makes it impossible for you to continue having negative emotions when your brain is producing feel-good hormones. Smiling is one of the tricks you can use to combat depression along with laughing out loud, exercising, and going out. 

  1. Disruption of your thought process

One of the things that people suffering from depression have in common is continuous negative thoughts. A simple action like placing a between your teeth can disrupt your thought process. If you were in a dark-line of thinking, a smile even a forced one will make you think about something else. 

  1. Boost your immunity

The brain doesn’t know if you are genuinely smiling or faking it. It reads the muscle activity of a smile as a sign of happiness and starts sending signals to all parts of the body. It is a well-known fact that depression messes with your immune system. The converse is also true that happiness boosts your immunity and makes you stronger. If you can trick the brain into thinking you are happy with just a smile, you can kick start your resistance to diseases. 

The concept of smiling to cope with depression is not a prerequisite to stay with your issues. It’s essential to see a counselor and get psychological and medicinal help for the depression. However, a smile will make the recovery process that much easier and faster. 

Mandy X

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash