You’ve probably heard the expression that, “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” Or perhaps you’ve heard “Smile, it’s free therapy!” Both of these smiley sentiments hold more truth than you may realize! Smiling improves your emotional and physical health. The benefits of an authentic, genuine smile are profound and contagious. Here are just a few ways smiling can benefit you, and your health:
Reasons #1: It Helps to Lower Stress For You
Dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are all released when we smile, causing our blood pressure to lower, and helping us to relax, even when we’re in a tense situation. These effects can be immediate and go a long way to easing tension.
Reason #2: It Helps to Lower Stress For Others Around You
Smiling isn’t just beneficial for your stress level—it can help the people around you to relax as well. An article published by the Huffington Post suggests that people perceive an authentic smile as a sign of trustworthiness and approachability.
Your coworkers, family, and friends all benefit from the tension release provided by smiling. Often, smiling is rather contagious and spreads through a group like a ripple effect, so be the first to flash one and put everyone at ease.
Reason #3: It Battles Pain and Depression
Smiling has a profoundly powerful effect on depression, pain, and anxiety. The endorphins released during the act of smiling can help to reduce pain sensation in the body. Serotonin levels also rise, helping to quell depression and anxiety. Even though it can be hard to remember to smile when we’re feeling pain, depression, or anxiety, it can really help us get on the road to feeling better.
Reason #4: It Makes You More Confident
Smiling can give you a tremendous feeling of positivity and well-being, which boosts confidence. And since it puts others around you at ease, it can have the remarkable effect of making people more likely to hear you out or participate in your ideas. Smiling gives the impression to others that you know what you’re doing and can be trusted. They become more open and available, and in turn helps to build your confidence even more, which leads us to the next reason…
Reason #5: It Can Increase Your Success in the Workplace
Smiling has been shown to increase creativity, productivity, and positive relations between clients, higher-ups, and fellow employees. In an article on Sunwarrior they state that, “Those who smile are more likely to earn more money through tips and raises. They are more readily approached with business ideas and offered advancements.”
There have been hundreds of social experiments conducted on which waiters get the most tips, which companies are rated highest in customer care, and which employees are more likely to be rewarded with raises and promotions. Smiling almost always pulls out ahead. Even if you don’t work face-to-face with anyone, it can still improve your work environment. You can “hear” a smile when someone’s talking on the phone and the effects are similar to those you get in-person.
Reason #6: It Makes You More Attractive
People perceive others who smile as being more attractive than those who do not. According to Psychology Today, “seeing an attractive smiling face activates your orbitofrontal cortex, the region in your brain that processes sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.”
People are drawn to smiling because, once again, it puts them at eases and instills confidence in the smiler. It’s a powerful magnet to those around you and gives a strong impression that you’re pleasant to be with.
Reason #7: It Keeps You Healthy
Want a natural immunity boost that helps the body defend itself against illness? Try smiling! A study at Berkeley found that smiling impacted heart rate and had a dramatic effect of stress response.
Since stress and heart health are directly related, anything that helps to keep it in check is beneficial to your overall health.
Reason #8: It Rewires You Brain to Expect Good Things
Making a habit out of smiling can retrain our brains to expect positive things to happen. These “happiness loops” help to encourage positive thinking patterns, and the more we build, the stronger the effect becomes. If you want to start having a more positive outlook, smiling is the simplest place to begin.
An authentic smile is a lot easier to do if you feel good about your grin. If you’re feeling self-conscious about your teeth because of gaps, missing teeth, strains, or other issues, you may be missing out on these wonderful benefits.
Dr. Mary Peebles-Turner helps patients in Broomfield, Colorado to find their smiles again. Learn more by visiting her at https://broomfielddentist.com/