It’s common knowledge that dental health is a crucial factor when considering your overall health, we know that keeping your mouth healthy can prevent gum disease.
Though you may be surprised to know that there are many direct health benefits that can be enjoyed simply from smiling more.
Multiple studies conclude that smiling will help you live a happier and longer life, as well as improving relationships which have all sorts of benefits from your family life to your career. So put your feet up and check out these amazing benefits from smiling! Say cheese!
Too Self-conscious to Show Your Teeth?
Smiling doesn’t require you to show teeth, despite what cartoons teach us to believe. Though, if you are feeling self-conscious or anxious about smiling because of the appearance of your teeth, we would recommend looking into dental work with a high quality dentist.
Often a few checkups with a hygienist will be adequate, or a quick teeth whitening session. If you do go down this route, just make sure you go with a highly qualified dentist and not some high-street shop.
Smiling Releases Endorphins
Heard of neuropeptides? These are really tiny molecules that your brain releases to combat stress (such as pain). All of the benefits listed below relate to this process of your brain releasing endorphins when you smile.
As soon as your face muscles start to move in a specific way, your brain is ready to generate and release these in response to it, the human body really is amazing!
Of course, a genuine smile cannot be faked – but even a forced smile can release endorphins and you can enjoy some of the benefits below just by moving your face muscles.
Grinning Gets Rid of Stress
Following on from the above, a direct positive from released endorphins is the lowering of stress in the body, but what does this actually mean in biological terms?
Well, we know thanks to multiple studies that there are cellular consequences of stress, such as lowering serotonin and dopamine levels. Stress also impacts nerves, hormones and metabolic processes. It’s safe to say that stress impacts everything in some way, so the fact that smiling can off-set this is great news.
Of course, it’s not so easy to smile purposely, especially if you are feeling stressed. Though it should be helpful to know that once you get there, you’ll start to feel much better.
Laughing Lowers Blood Pressure
To expand on the previous point, when you lower stress levels in the body you lower your heart rate as a result. Here is a great example of how the chain reaction from smiling directly benefits your body, in physical terms.
Practice smiling more, heck even fake smiling has its benefits – some studies even suggest that people with botox (who cannot frown) are happier on average than people without botox.
Smirking Reduces Pain
This ones a bit of a surprise, even for us but the facts speak for themselves. Smiling has been proven to have a significant effect on reducing pain levels, making things like injections and procedures much easier for the individual when they are feeling happy.
Much of the pain that comes from things like injections is physiological, as we know that smiling reduces the heart rate it can also prevent the mind from taking a negative direction during painful events.
Glowing Projects Optimism
Reminiscent of the movie Limitless, smiling tells the world that you are approachable, confident, happy, healthy and in turn, more good things will happen to you as a result of this.
If you have a positive vibe, others will approach you differently and there are many benefits to be had from this, from colleague interactions and work performance all the way to your relationship.
If the people around you see that you are happy, they’ll get a good feeling from spending time with you, meaning you can get better deals, jobs, social capital and just more out of life in general.
Smile to Live a Longer Life
All of the above factors contribute to a longer and happier life. Lower heart rate, lower stress and more positive endorphins in the body result in a much healthier lifestyle when you consider this is a daily occurrence.
A brilliant example of this is the Acciaroli region in Southern Italy – a village that’s said to have the longest life expectancy in the world. Scientists have studied the people here and found nothing in particular stands out about their diet (although they do eat healthy), but it’s more likely that the social behaviors of the townspeople is the biggest contributing factor to their long lifespan.
Simply put, this village is much more family orientated than other cultures and this makes for a happier day. When you are happier, you live longer.
So there we have it, if smiling wasn’t fun enough already now you know that it will make you healthier and happier, creating a rewarding circle of benefits.
Life can be challenging sometimes and we know it’s not always easy to smile, but even forcing a fake smile can stimulate your facial muscles and release endorphins, so give it a try.