A Smile a Day: Why It's Important in the Golden Years

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Why Seniors Should Smile More Often

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Growing older doesn’t have to be a negative experience. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Though seniors often have concerns about their health, finances, and other issues, focusing on the stressful aspects of life is only going to make matters worse. Instead, they should think about the people and things in life they enjoy. The Scottsdale respite home care experts at Home Care Assistance explain why it’s so crucial for seniors to maintain a positive attitude and smile as often as possible.

Smiling Can Add Years to a Senior’s Life

People who smile tend to have a more optimistic outlook on life. According to Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Michigan, optimistic people are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and naturally have a stronger immune system than pessimists. Smiling and laughter also have positive effects on the cardiovascular system by increasing blood flow and blood vessel function, which can prevent heart attacks and other heart-related diseases.

Smiling Is Contagious

Smiles are magnets that draw people together. Seeing someone smile triggers the portion of the brain that controls facial movements, which makes most people automatically smile in return. These shared smiles create a bond between two individuals, which can provide the basis for the emotional and social contact isolated and lonely seniors need.

Smiling Is Stimulating

Seniors automatically feel more confident and energized when they smile because smiling increases both brain and heart activity. One recent study by the British Dental Health Foundation found a person would have to eat 2,000 chocolate bars to get the same stimulating effect as one smile.

Smiling Relieves Pain

Smiling can be an effective way for seniors to ease their minor aches and pains because it triggers the release of powerful brain chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are the same chemicals produced during intense exercise that create what is known as a runner’s high. In addition to lowering stress and boosting mood, endorphins also lower the body’s perception of pain.

Smiling Enhances Emotional Health

Seniors who smile tend to experience less fear, anxiety, and stress, and they also tend to have more positive feelings about life in general, which can help them be more resilient when facing challenging circumstances. Smiles and laughter can also provide a sense of perspective that makes stressful situations seem less overwhelming.

At Scottsdale Home Care Assistance, we believe a senior’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as his or her physical and mental health. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a positive outlook, consider hiring one of our professional caregivers. Our expertly trained caregivers are available 24/7 to provide companionship and social stimulation, and they can also assist with a wide array of important daily tasks. For more information on the senior care Scottsdale, AZ, families trust, call 480.448.6215 today.