Smiling is something we do naturally when we are met with any type of joyful situation. Some people even smile inadvertently in stressful situations, and this is actually not a bad thing!
What Research Says about a Smile
A number of interesting studies have been done in recent years. Each of these studies demonstrate the immense power behind a smile.
We all know that a smile is contagious, but we may not know the other effects that a smile has on the human psyche. When viewing photographs of faces, study participants responded more favorably to images in which the subject of the photo was smiling. Basically, people who were smiling were perceived as more approachable and more trustworthy. They were also thought to be younger and more attractive than those who did not smile in their photographs. Clearly, this information can be used to your advantage! Whether you want a new job or a new friend, your smile can be your biggest asset.
As intriguing as it is that a smile can be such a professional and social asset, it is perhaps the health benefits of smiling that should interest us the most. Here, as well, research is extensive and very promising.
When we smile, something happens in our brain. Neuropeptides and endorphins become more active and the brain produces larger quantities of these feel-good chemicals. The obvious effect of smiling is that our mood improves almost immediately, and usually for elongated period of time. What research has also demonstrated is that smiling leads to a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure. This is significant in the way that it relates to stress recovery. Feeling stressed? Give yourself a smile and see what happens!
Smiling also affects the cells throughout the entire body. They become relaxed as a result of the physical act of smiling, which results in a heightened defense against the stress induced mutation that has been associated with diseases like cancer.
We all deserve to smile more! To address dental concerns that may be standing in your way, schedule your visit with us.