As if the spring sunshine isn’t enough reason to smile, here are six more reasons to flash your pearly whites at the world!
Flashing a smile makes you more attractive. A study by The American Psychological Association showed when a person sees someone they’re attracted to smiling it stimulates their orbitofrontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with sensory rewards.) In other words it makes them want to approach you so they can keep being rewarded with smiles. Even E-Harmony believes smiling is an integral part of attractiveness! Smiling also makes you look reliable, relaxed, and sincere – all attractive traits in a partner.
Smiling fights off stress. The University of Kansas asked three groups of participants to perform a stressful test. One group was asked to smile and another was given chopsticks to hold in their teeth which formed a smile. A comparison of physiological responses showed both genuine and chopstick-induced smilers had lower heart rates and faster cardiovascular stress recovery than the non-smiling control group.
Smiles can be a mood booster. Smiling releases neuropeptides in your brain. Those are the tiny molecules that allow your neurons to talk to each other and spread the message to the rest of your body that you’re feeling something. Some neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are also released when you smile. These chemicals all relax your body, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and make you happy. Seratonin in particular is an anti-depressant and mood booster – and when you smile you get it without a prescription!
Smiling acts as a pain reliever. Studies have been done where they asked participants to smile, remain neutral, or frown during painful procedures. Participants that smiled through the ordeal reported feeling lower levels of pain! Smiling releases endorphins, which act as a natural pain reliever. So next time you are getting a tight hair-do, feeling sore from a workout, or getting a tattoo, put on a smile and you’ll feel better!
A smile can lengthen your life. A study by Wayne University in Michigan using 230 photographs of baseball players from 1952 showed those who smiled lived the longest. Researchers separated the photos in non-smiling, partial smile, and full smile. Straight faced players lived and average of 73 years, partial smilers lived an average of 75 years, and the players with full blown smiles lived an average of 80 years! You can do a lot of extra living and laughing in 7 years!
When you smile you make other people happier. When you see someone smile your cingulate cortex is unconsciously activated. This is the part of your brain responsible for smiling when happy and mimicking other people’s smiles. A study in Sweden showed that when participants were shown photos of smiling people, and told to frown, their facial expression went automatically to imitating the smile. It took conscious effort for them to frown while looking at someone smiling. So smile at everyone you see, it will make them smile back at give them an immediate boost of those fun neurotransmitters that make them feel good!
If you aren’t comfortable with your smile, we’d love to help you change that! Everyone should feel confident with themselves but sometimes it can be hard. Our offices offers many options, including 6 Month Smiles, to give you the confidence you need to smile every day.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh