Turn that frown upside down! You know smiling is an outward sign of happiness, but did you know that the simple act of smiling can also create tangible physical changes? In case you needed another reason to flash your pearly whites, we’re sharing a list of benefits below:
Elevate Your Mood
Some sayings are more wishful thinking than hard fact (i.e., an apple a day keeps the doctor away), but it turns out there’s science to back the suggestion to “fake it until you make it.” Smiling triggers the release of neuropeptides that improve your neural communication and neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, and serotonin is a natural antidepressant. Smiling when you least feel like it can boost your mood by essentially tricking your mind into a happy state.
The negative physical and mental effects of stress have been well documented. And, though we’ve long known that smiling can mask the appearance of being overwhelmed and worn down (i.e., fake it until you make it), new research shows that smiling can actually decrease stress. When you smile, your brain releases neuropeptides, small molecules that combat stress. While smiling alone isn’t a cure for every type of stress, particularly long-term stressors, it does offer relief of brief, acute stressors. So, the next time you’re in a slow-moving line at the coffee shop, try smiling. At the very least, it will keep your frustration in check until you have your drink in hand.
Boost Your Immune System
Is it healthy people who are happy or happy people who are healthy? Scientists believe that the release of neurotransmitters puts your body in a more relaxed state, making it easier for your immune system to function more effectively. So, why not add daily smile sessions to your fitness routine? It just might help strengthen your immune system ahead of cold and flu season and boost your general wellbeing.
It’s true! The age-old advice to just “grin and bear it” has scientific backing. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin. The result is not only an elevated mood, but also reduced physical pain and a relaxed body. So, the next time you’re due for a shot try smiling – it’s the natural drug that’s always available.
One of the most powerful benefits of smiling is a longer life! One study found that authentic, intense smiling was associated with a longer lifespan. While more research is needed to fully understand the connection, happy people seem to experience better health and longevity. Findings indicate that happiness could increase a person’s lifespan by years, which suggests that maintaining a happy, positive outlook is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle.
Contact Our Office
The best way to ensure you have the confidence to smile – and reap all of the rewards – is to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits. To schedule a check-up, please contact our dental team today!