Smile and Laugh Your Way to Good Health!

There's a new study out that indicates smiling, especially the genuine type where more than just your mouth is involved, might help lower your heart rate after experiencing a stressful situation.

It gives whole new meaning to “grin and bear it," doesn't it? Apparently, not only should you engage your mouth and teeth, the best kind of smiling to achieve this slower heart rate is the Duchenne way – which includes more of your face and your eye muscles, too.

But really, how many of us are smiling after a really stressful situation? Do you feel like smiling after sitting in traffic or realizing you're late for an appointment – or maybe learning your son has just added a second tattoo? (A story for another time.) Think about all the stressful times you've endured in your life. Is smiling the first thing you'd want to do afterward? It's more likely that most of us would want to scream -- or reach for a glass of wine.

But, OK, I'm willing to give it a try. After all, I smile a great deal already – and often without realizing it. In fact, sometimes when I think I'm grimacing, especially in very brisk New England winds, people think I'm smiling at them and say hello or smile back. It can be very disconcerting when you're gritting your teeth while wishing you lived in Florida and people think you're not only happy, you're happy to see them. Of course, maybe it puts them in better spirits to see someone surviving the winter – or perhaps my expression looks so ridiculous they can't help grinning.

Whatever the case, I do like that idea of lowering my heart rate but I'm a little concerned that using those eye muscles too much might have long-term repercussions. Will people believe me when I say, “Those aren't wrinkles or laugh lines – they're proof I'm following my health regime"?

I didn't see any mention of this in the article about how this smiling-is-heart-healthy study in the journal Psychological Science, but I did learn there's also lots of research indicating laughing has numerous health benefits, too, including lowering stress, easing pain and boosting your immune system; The Mayo Clinic has two pages on its website that extol the stress-relief benefits of laughing, for example. Apparently laughter being the best medicine isn't a joke.

But if laughing lowers stress, should I be laughing DURING the stressful situation and then smiling AFTERWARD to get the most health benefits?

Fortunately, I do love to laugh and do it several times a day – mostly at myself. By these standards, I'm probably the healthiest person on the planet.

What about you? Would you smile and laugh more often if you thought it would give you better health? After all, that's no laughing matter – or is it?

WWII Vet Runs Cross Country to Save His D-Day Ship

** OGTV would like to take a moment to commemorate National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with this story about the unstoppable Ernie Andrus, a WWII veteran who is still on his latest Coast2Coast run doing his part to keep the memory of his comrades alive. **

Ernie Andrus, now in his 90's, is running cross-country to raise money in order to put the LST 325, the ship he served on in the Navy during WWII, back on the beach in Normandy where it supported the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.

This LST 325 is the only LST ship left (out of 1,051 made) that has been fully restored and still operational. Plans were initially made for a D-Day memorial service in 2014 for the ship, but it was canceled because of a shortage of finances. This inspired Ernie to start a project called, Coast2Coast Runs to raise money to honor his old ship.

Keep reading... Show less

The Cute Ways Animals Have Fun in the Snow

Are you looking for a pick me up? Need a little fun in the snow to make you smile?

Look no further - we found the cutest exotic and domesticated animals just for you! Watch as a baby elephant, panda, penguins, and horses frolic happily in the snow. It just might make you love winter that much more!

Keep reading... Show less

Girl Scout Sells 2,000 Boxes of Cookies To Help Uncle With MS

** OGTV celebrates National Cookie Day with this story about a generous Girl Scout who used her cookie selling skills to win a special prize for her uncle to help him fight his disease and support his love of music. **

Callie Olson is an 8-year-old Girl Scout with a giving and loving spirit. She worked extremely hard to sell 2,000 boxes of girl scout cookies to win the grand prize MacBook; what's even better is the fact that she won it for her uncle with MS!

Keep reading... Show less

Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team Takes on NFL Alumni

** OGTV recognizes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with this story about some unstoppable Wounded Warriors to help everyone become more compassionate and understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities. **

These servicemen may have lost limbs overseas, but on the field, they don't need special treatment. Once the competitive juices get flowing, that becomes very clear as these wounded warriors go head to head with seasoned NFL veterans and Washington Redskins Alumni. But even greater than the rush of competition is the sense of camaraderie the guys gain for one another on the field.

Keep reading... Show less

Immigrant Student’s College Dream Is Now Shipshape!

** OGTV is celebrating Rosa Parks Day by sharing the story of another trailblazer who did not settle for doing what was expected and instead followed her dreams...all the way to the US Naval Academy! **

This is a story about a determined and humble young woman who came to a country she barely knew to live with complete strangers, all in order to receive the best education possible. In the process she would work hard and defy incredible odds to put herself in the running to become a member of one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Shopping Makes You Feel Good - You Should Know with Lucia Nazzaro

** Here's a short video on why shopping makes you happy to get you amped for Cyber Monday **

This just in! Retail therapy actually works! We love to give you tips and tricks to make sure you are the happiest & healthiest you can be. So here is one more, and it just may be our favorite.

In this brand new episode of You Should Know, Lucia explains how shopping really can improve your well being. Even if you don't buy anything, the positive effects are still there. So tell your spouse you don't necessarily have to spend money... even though it's more fun that way :)

Keep reading... Show less

How to Unclutter Overflowing Closets – Wounded Warrior Closet Makeover

Everyone could use a little help in their daily lives…and watching a good DIY video can always make a difference! OnlyGood TV videos help make your life easier, more manageable, happy and stress free!

After 36 years in the military, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Luciano Yulfo ended his career in Afghanistan when a bomb shattered his left leg, leaving him disabled and soon to be without a leg. His 27-year-old daughter Sonia is his only caretaker, so it's really tough trying to keep their house in order. But help is on the way! Professional organizing expert, Barbara Reich and ClosetMaid are giving them each a much-needed closet makeover!

Keep reading... Show less

Turkey Carving Tips So You Won't Miss A Bite!

Yum... it's Thanksgiving. We set you up with some tips to cooking the perfect turkey, now on to the carving!

You may think it is easy... but you'd be surprised at how much meat you are actually missing. Executive Chef, Michael Luboff, for Stew Leonard's – the World's Largest Dairy Store and one of the most renowned grocery store chains in the U.S., gives some carving tips to make sure you savor every bit! Along with enjoying it, you want it to look presentable, too!

Keep reading... Show less

* OGTV Top Videos *

Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube

mailbox

Get your Only Good TV Newsletter