No matter your age, there’s no time like the present to embrace a great smile, and the truth is the benefits of a confident, unbridled smile can extend into areas of your life you never imagined.
From how you’re perceived to your inner happiness and health, here are five reasons to invest in your smile and flash it with confident abandon.
Smiling makes you happier
It may seem counterintuitive if you’re feeling down in the dumps, but research indicates the simple act of smiling can actually lift your mood.
That’s because, even if it’s forced, smiling releases endorphins in your brain.
Psychology Today explains smiling acts in a couple of ways: it activates neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress while “feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure”.
“Finally, the serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as an anti-depressant/mood lifter,” they state.
Smiling makes you more confident
Just as smiling can help spur on feelings of happiness, it can allow you to feel more confident too.
Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy has researched the art of confidence and argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.
So, smile confidently as you enter that room in the knowledge not only will others be aware of you composed and self-assured exterior, you’ll start feeling that way on the inside too.
Smiling gives happiness to others
“Smile and the whole world smiles with you”. These might be the words to a simple song but there’s serious science behind the melody.
An Italian study showed smiling is indeed contagious because in order to process an emotion we first reproduce the facial movements of the expression we see.
“In practice, if we watch someone smiling, we tend to smile as well in order to appreciate what that person is feeling. We applied this finding to memory and assessed whether it is also true when we’re trying to recall an emotion,” report author Jenny Baumeister said.
Smiling makes you healthier
Not only can smiling increase your happiness but it can also increase your tolerance to pain and build your immunity, NBC News notes.
Dr Murray Grossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist in Los Angeles told NBC the science of psychoneuroimmunology (the study of how the brain is connected to the immune system), has shown “over and over again” that depression weakens your immune system, while happiness on the other hand has been shown to boost our body’s resistance.
And smiling doesn’t just improve health in a psychological sense.
A healthy smile with correctly aligned teeth allows for better oral hygiene. This ultimately decreases the risk of tooth decay, gingivitis and gum disease which can lead to more serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes.
Smiling lets people see you differently
Finally, new studies have shown it takes just seven seconds to make a first impression, and the feature that counts most is often a smile.
“48 per cent of all Americans feel that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone,” Inc.com notes.
“Not only does smiling make others feel more comfortable around you, but it also decreases stress hormones that can negatively impact your health. This isn’t according to just one or two studies; smiling is highly correlated with longevity. Since the need to make a positive first impression can increase your stress level, smiling is a way to take the edge off.”
About Norwest Orthodontics
Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We
feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.
We also have a range of treatments available that include discrete, removeable Invisalign braces, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.