I get it. I really do. There’s nothing worse than being told that you should smile more. It’s especially egregious when a woman is told this by a man or (everyone’s pet hate) being told that they’re “so much prettier when they smile”. Yet, while we should never smile because some rando thinks that it would make us more attractive, or to appease a perceived societal expectation, when we choose to leave those frowns… not turned upside down, we can miss out on a lot. Whether you feel as though you have a lot to smile about or not, you and those around you benefit when you choose to do this very simple act…
Self conscious about your smile?
If you feel the need to purse your lips because you’re self conscious about your smile, the good news is that dental science has never been better equipped to bring back your self esteem. Go to HarbourCentreDental.com and check out the wide range of solutions to bring back your confidence in your smile. From affordable whitening treatments to invisible alignment solutions and even gum contouring, there are a number of ways in which you can fall in love with smiling again.
People smile back
One of the most obvious benefits of smiling is its reciprocity. As the old song says, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. We’re psychologically predisposed to return smiles when we see them. And when everyone smiles, it makes the world a brighter, happier and more optimistic place.
Stress melts away
We all encounter stress in our lives, whether it’s from the challenges of work, the wrangling of relationships or the trials and tribulations of parenthood. While stress is, for many of us, unavoidable it can lead to a wide range of ill effects when left unchecked. It can decrease our immune function, make us gain weight and increase our risk of a wide range of illnesses. Fortunately, smiling is a natural way to relieve stress. When we smile, the muscle movement triggers a chain reaction in the brain, releasing neurotransmitters like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. These are our brain’s natural “feel good” chemicals; the same which are triggered when we exercise. This in turn leads to a reduced production of the stress hormone cortisol. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed, just smile! It’ll give you some much needed perspective on your anxieties.
You can smile through the pain
Believe it or not, a smile is also a natural painkiller. Smiling and laughter can not only reduce pain but can also increase your pain threshold. So, the next time you stub your toe, instead of dancing and swearing around the room, try smiling through it. You’ll find it surprisingly effective.
You could actually live longer
No, seriously. A 2010 study proved a positive correlation between smiling and long life. Whether it’s through better stress management, a more positive outlook or better social interactions (or most likely a combination of all 3), people who smile tend to live longer, and most likely happier, lives.
And that’s something we can all smile about!