Thailand, The land of smiles – if you look at just about anyone and make eye contact, you will see that this is an appropriate description for Thailand.  People here smile A LOT – Which is a very good thing!  The fact that the Thai people smile so readily and quickly is a testament to their beautiful spirit, but it is likely helping their health as well, and we could learn from them.

Smiling has been proven to offer many health benefits – imagine that – a simple smile can make you healthier!   Smiling releases endorphins which are the “feel good hormones” that have been proven to support good health in many ways.  Fake smiles are beneficial as well, but sincere ones are much better.   Smiling can help:

  1. Lower heart rate – it relaxes the body and reduces blood pressure.  People who smile and laugh a lot have lower risks of heart disease
  2. Reduce Stress – The endorphins released help counter the detrimental health effects of stress.
  3. Improve mood – These endorphins lift one’s mood.  Even if you need to fake a smile, try it and you will likely feel better anyway – hold it for a minute and see if you feel better.
  4. Increase productivity – When we feel better, we are more productive.  Smiling improves our mood and our motivation
  5. Encourage Trust – Those who smile are generally more easily trusted.  It is important to feel trust for others in our work or social lives.  A simple reassuring smile can go a long way.
  6. Increases empathy – When we are embarrassed or make a mistake, if we smile, others are more likely to offer support or act compassionately
  7. Shows compassion – if we smile as someone is talking, it reflects interest and caring for the person talking.
  8. Kill pain – Endorphins released by smiling, are known to help relieve pain
  9. Builds attraction – Anyone is more attractive when they smile.  People are more likely to approach and to be open to another when they are smiling.  It is the universal sign of happiness – what’s not attractive about that?
  10. Earn success – A smile can display confidence, which in many cases, is the difference between success and failure. With a smile, goes success. Those who smile have been shown to be more likely to get a promotion.
  11. Look younger – a smiling face looks on average, 3 years younger, than does a frowning face.  One study has found that 69% of participants feel that women look better when smiling, than when wearing makeup.
  12. Live longer – One study suggests that those who smile a lot live an average of 7 years longer than those who don’t smile very often.
  13. Boost Immune system – Smiling relaxes the body, which allows the immune system to kick in faster and offer more rapid healing.
  14. Increase attention – Smiling widens our attention and our self-confidence so that we are more able to multi-task and have a more open mind.
  15. Contagious – Smiling makes others smile, which makes the whole world a happier place.  THIS is the most important thing for us all to do.  If you want to make the world a happier place, just go around smiling more!
  16. It’s EASIER to smile than to frown – Scientists have proven that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile

So, as you enjoy your vacation in the land of smiles, give it a try – smile more and often – at everyone you look at.  See if you find it makes a difference in your experience –

it will definitely make a difference in the experience of everyone around you!!!!

By Linsey Hurley