A new study suggests that smiling can help you bounce back from stress, meaning helping others through volunteering can now be beneficial to your health.
Do good, feel good, be healthy
The University of Kansas found that the act of smiling has a positive effect on our happiness and physical health, helping the heart recover more quickly after stressful events. As we do good to others, we are not only putting a smile on their face – we are smiling in return which results in a lowering of your heart rate and a healthier heart.
Giving back and getting back
The decision to volunteer in a previously disadvantaged community or less prosperous country can most of the time be attributed to the desire of the volunteer to give back to the community. Now we see that not only are volunteers helping others but, through their generous actions, are helping to become a healthier person.
10 Reasons to smile more
We list the 10 health benefits of smiling to emphasise how volunteering can benefit your health in more ways that which you thought!
- Lower Heart Rate – Smiling relaxes the heart and body, temporarily reducing blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart disease.
- Reduces Stress – Smiling produces endorphins that counteract and diminish the stress hormones, resulting in a care free you.
- Better Mood – The endorphins produced by smiling also results in a happier mood.
- Increase Productivity – Smiling increases productivity while performing task, giving new meaning to “whistle while you work”.
- Encourage Trust – Relationships are built on smiles, we are more trustful of others when they smile genuinely.
- Produce Empathy – Smiling breaks the ice of embarrassment, promoting lenience on what others think of us.
- Avoid Regret – Studies show that if we don’t smile, we feel regret for failing to do so. This regret brings down our mood and boosts stress hormones.
- Kill Pain – Smiling and laughter are natural painkillers and have been shown to lessen pain.
- Increase Attention – Stress limits our perceptions and narrows our attention, so by smiling and reducing your stress levels you are able to focus on the matters at hand.
- Contagious – 50% of people will smile back at you, so spreading the health benefits to those around you will come back to you several times!