Ask Dr. Joy: it's as simple as a smile

By WEEK Producer

April 3, 2013 Updated Apr 3, 2013 at 10:32 PM CDT

In tonight's Dr. Joy we talk about how a simple gesture can have some powerful benefits.

It is as simple as a smile. Smiling could be good for your health and well-being.

Some of the new studies related to the power of the smile:

*Researchers have found that smiling can slow down our heart rate and eliminate stress. This happens even when we are not aware of showing that grin.
*The pure act of smiling has been proven to enhance our happiness ratio.
*Research shows that a genuine full grin has the potential to affect our body in a positive ways and even a polite smile can also bring benefits.
*Journal of Psychological Science showed that those who engaged in smiling after stress inducing tasks had a greater reduction in heart rate than those who had no facial grin.

*When we smile, it sends a message to the brain that signals safety and it translates into health benefits.
*The act of smiling sends out cortisol and oxytocin, which lowers our stress levels.
*A University of California study showed that the intensity of a person's smile can help predict life satisfaction over time and even the longevity of participants.
*Research also shows that people who smile more tend to elicit more positive responses from strangers and more positive connections.

So take the advise of all of the studies and bring a smile to your face. It will help you create closer relationships with those around you, enhance your health and perhaps help you meet some new friends who are drawn to your smile.

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