Smiling Adds to Your Lifespan
No matter where you’re reading this from, people identify smiling as an expression of sociability, pleasure, amusement, joy, and happiness. While it’s known for its ability to communicate emotion, smiling can boost your immune system as well.
Researchers and medical professionals have seen correlations between smiling and your health, and the health of your relationships. At Balboa Island Dentistry, Dr. Alfano wants to give every patient a smile that they’ll proudly show their friends and family. For this reason, he created this page to highlight the wonderful, and in some cases unknown, benefits of a healthy smile.
Smiling & Satisfaction
It’s known that smiling is a product of happiness, but did you know that it can create happiness as well? For example, you can boost your mood by smiling—even if it’s a fake smile. The reason this happens is that your brain begins a neural messaging process once you start smiling.
As soon as the process is active, your brain releases endorphins which acts as a natural antidepressant. Endorphins improve your mood, reduce stress, and ward off anxiety.
Smiling also releases neurotransmitters called serotonin. Serotonin regulates a variety of body functions including digestion, blood clotting, bone density, libido (sex drive), and your mood.
Smiling combines the benefits of serotonin and endorphins to make your entire body feel great. In addition to feeling good, smiling can help fight depression, worry, and stress.
Smiling & Your Health
While smiling goes hand-in-hand with feelings of satisfaction and happiness, it can lower your stress levels and increase your productivity.
Researchers from the journal Social Behavior and Personality conducted a study where they asked participants to attempt a list of complicated tasks. The catch was that the participants were split into two groups—smiling and non-smiling. They found that the smiling group maintained lower stress levels and heart rates compared to the non-smiling group.
The researchers pursued more information by asking participants to hold chopsticks horizontally in their mouth, simulating a smile. This new group was asked to complete the same tasks. This new group of fake-smilers produced results equal to the smiling group, meaning you can benefit from smiling even if you’re faking it.
Smiling & Interacting
The phrase “smiling is contagious” gets thrown around all of the time, but the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences confirms it. When you display emotion, whether it’s smiling, frowning, or any other, the person receiving the emotion will reciprocate it.
Furthermore, smiling expresses feelings of friendliness, compassion, and comfort. Smiling can make a first impression successful, as well as make you appear more lively and younger.
Smiling & Your Appearance
Smiling makes you more attractive. However, did you know that people are naturally drawn to those who smile? It expresses your personality before you say anything, which helps build strong relationships. Alternatively, if you frown often, it could create a negative connotation, making people distance themselves.
Beyond the aesthetics of your teeth, a smile can make you seem more successful. People that often smile are easier to approach, leading to new job opportunities, promotions, and relationships. So, next time you’re heading into an important meeting or party, remember to smile. If nothing else, you’ll give yourself a head start when making a first impression.