The Science of Smiling and What It Does to Your Health

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Can smiling improve your physical and mental well-being? Many people see smiling as an involuntary response to things that bring you joy or laughter. 

Can smiling become a conscious intentional choice that not only lifts your mood, but the people around you?

Science of Smiling

Why People Smile

Smiles can communicate approval, happiness, contentment and other positive feelings. Smiles can convey positive intention, trustworthiness, compassion and social connection. These types of smiles can make the person they are directed toward feel better, calmer and more receptive to communication.

Smiles are used to show contempt, disgust or superiority. When used in this way they have been shown to increase stress hormones in the people they are directed toward.

Very often people won’t smile even when they are happy because they are ashamed or embarrassed by their mouth or smile. If you are in the Melbourne area and are concerned about your smile contact a Croydon orthodontist to find out how they can help you improve your smile.

Smiling Helps You Live Longer

Happy people seem to enjoy better health and longevity. Research has found that happiness can increase your lifespan. This suggests that a positive mood is part of a healthy lifestyle. 

If you’re interested in living longer, smile more and find a good dentist who can help you maintain your smile throughout your lifetime.

Relieve Stress

Smiling can reduce stress. Stress is a big problem in today’s society. The simple act of smiling has been shown to reduce stress, even if you don’t feel like smiling. 

Smiling signals your brain to release endorphins and neuropeptides. The chemicals help to reduce the intensity of your body’s stress response.

Smiling can prevent you from looking tired, worn down and overwhelmed. When you feel stressed, try smiling. It can improve your mood and ability to manage stress.

Smiling Elevates Mood

Smiling acts like a natural anti-depressant. Smiling triggers the brain to release dopamine and serotonin which boosts your mood. These neurotransmitters help fight depression by elevating your mood and experience pleasure. 

Smiling Boosts the Immune System

When you are happy and smiling your immune system works better. When you are relaxed and happy you become less susceptible to disease and illness. 

The mechanism is not completely understood, but it’s believed that when your body is more relaxed it functions better.

Smiling Makes You Attractive

Smiling makes you look younger and more attractive. People who smile attract more attention and success than those who are constantly scowling and grimacing.  People who smile are assumed to have more positive personality traits and be more trustworthy.

The muscles used in smiling lift the face making you look younger. If you smile your way through the day, you’ll look younger and feel better.

You are born with the ability to smile, as you age you tend to smile less often. Smiling and laughter can become a conscious choice to stay positive and motivated, despite what’s happening around you. As Mother Teresa once said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”.