When was the last time you smiled? When you’re dealing with everyday stressors like work, relationships, and finances, remembering to smile may be the last thing on your mind. However, smiling has myriad benefits, not all of them aesthetic. From reduced stress and physical pain to stronger relationships, the benefits of smiling are enough to make anyone grin.
The Benefits of Smiling
This might seem obvious – after all, people who smile a lot certainly seem happy and content. It’s true that smiling makes you appear happy on the outside, but it can also dramatically improve how you feel on the inside. Numerous studies have shown that cracking a smile – even a fake one – can improve your mood when you’re feeling down. This is especially beneficial for people who may be dealing with anxiety or depression.
Exercising your facial muscles can actually help generate positive thoughts that, in turn, can rewire your brain to make positive patterns instead of negative ones. When your brain is primed for positive patterns, it’s much easier to shut down negative thoughts and focus on your own creativity. That means you’ll perform better at work, at home, and in your creative pursuits.
Laughter is the best medicine, right? The adage is true: It turns out that laughter – which usually begins with smiling – can promote a healthy lifestyle. According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, laughter’s physical benefits range from lower blood pressure to a boosted immune system. Exercising your smiling muscles can also aid with pain relief by signaling your body to release natural painkillers. Smiling may even lead to a longer life. A 2010 study by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) found that smiling – and the positive emotions associated with smiling – can contribute to a longer life span in humans. So the next time you’re feeling achy or ill, head to a comedy show, watch a funny Netflix special, read a silly book, or spend time with a wisecracking friend. It could make you feel better and live longer.
A study published in”Psychological Science,” the flagship APS medical journal, found that smiling more often can help your body deal with stressful situations. The study found that individuals who exercised their smiling muscles during stressful tasks typically had lower heart rates. That’s good news for individuals with stressful jobs, who are typically more prone to suffer heart attacks and strokes. And while genuine smiles come with a lot of benefits, faking a smile appears to have the same stress-reducing effect.
Have you ever felt drawn to another person because of their friendly, magnetic energy? It’s likely that they smile a lot. According to one study, people who smile a lot are seen as more likeable than people who don’t smile or smile very rarely. That’s good news for a few reasons. First, if you’re seen as more likable, it’s automatically easier to build and maintain positive relationships with others. That can make it easier to get jobs, make new friends, and connect with coworkers. Smiling can also help you smooth over rough patches with friends and family by helping you appear more trustworthy. Whether you’re trying to connect with your boss or a potential love interest, staying connected to others is crucial for your well-being.
From reduced stress to stronger social bonds, the benefits of smiling are impressive. However, we know that it’s tough to smile if you’re not completely confident with your teeth. With dental services ranging from yearly cleanings and dentures to crowns and veneers, the Wilkinson Dental team is committed to helping you love your smile. Give us a call at 417-882-8222 to set up an appointment today so you can keep grinning.