It’s thought that the reason people often feel happier around children is simple – children smile more. They smile a lot more, up to 400 times a day. On the other hand, happy adults only smile 40 to 50 times a day. Should we smile more? Here are 7 reasons why smiling is a good idea.
1.Smiling is a two-way street. Something happy happens and neuronal signals travel from the brain’s cortex to the brainstem to the muscles that make us smile. But, that’s not the end of it! It’s a loop. When we smile, positive feedback returns to the brain and reinforces our joy. It’s said that smiling stimulates our brain’s reward system even more than chocolate. And, we all know chocolate is a pleasure-inducer.
2. Smiling lowers your heart rate. When you smile, your body relaxes. Your heart slows and your blood pressure is reduced temporarily. It’s been shown that people who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Now, that’s something to smile about.
3. Smile to turn your day around. Smiling releases those feel-good endorphins. Endorphins reduce stress and improve your mood. So, even if it starts out as a forced smile, it’s likely to give you a better day when you smile.
4. A smile is contagious. When you smile, the people around you are likely to smile back – at least half of them. The smile spreads and so do the positive results of smiling. It’s free and easy to share a smile. Practice it.
5. You become more trustworthy. It takes a genuine smile – people can discern the difference. But a genuine smile breeds trust. Whether it’s a loved one, a good friend or a simple acquaintance, when you smile you build trust – an important part of social interaction.
6. Smile when it hurts. It’s a proven fact that both smiling and laughter lessen pain. It’s those happy, good endorphins again. They make you feel good and they can be a natural painkiller, too.
7. Pay attention! Stress limits our attention span and our perceptions. When we’re stressed, we want to “fight or flight”. Smiling counteracts the stress and these feelings. The result is that our attention is increased and we get the insights that are on the fringes of our perception or in our subconscious.
Did reading this make you smile? If so, that’s a good thing. But, if you’re hiding your smile because of the way your teeth look, it’s time for positive action. See a full-service dentist and explore all the options from cap and crowns to braces and dental implants. Working with your dentist to make your smile look as good as it feels is, well, something to smile about.