Do you smile often? Smiling is a simple yet effective practice with several real-life benefits. In this column, we will discuss the benefits of YOUR SMILE.
- Smiling can reduce stress. Stress affects our entire being and it usually shows up in our faces. Smiling not only helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn out and overwhelmed but it can actually assist in decreasing stress.
- Smiling can elevate your mood. Next time you are not feeling so good, try smiling. There’s a good chance your mood will change for the better. The act of smiling actually sends signals in your brain that affects your emotional state. This means that by adopting a happy facial expression, your mind shifts into entering a state of happiness. Interestingly, this is true whether or not your smile is genuine.
- Smiling is a natural antidepressant. A smile can trigger the release of enzymes that improve your nerve communication, as well as neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are mood boosters.
- Smiling is contagious. How many times have you heard that a smile has the power to light up the room? While it is certainly a beautiful sentiment, it carries a hint of truth. Smiling not only has the ability to elevate your mood, but it can also enhance the moods of others.
- Smiling strengthens the immune system. Also, smiling can boost your overall health by helping your immune system to function more effectively. It is believed that when you smile your immune function improves because you are more relaxed. Whether you’re trying to maintain your overall health or strengthen your immune system, smiling can help.
- Smiling may lower your blood pressure. Smiling could have a beneficial impact on your blood pressure. Although more research is needed in this area, what we do know is that smiling has been shown to lower your heart rate in the face of stress. A lower heart rate decreases the pressure and the demands on the heart. This is a good thing.
- Smiling reduces pain. Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, other natural painkillers and serotonin. Together, these brain chemicals make us feel good. Not only do they elevate your mood, but they also relax your body and reduce physical pain. Smiling is a natural medication.
- Smiling makes you more attractive. Human beings are naturally drawn to people who smile. While more negative facial expressions like frowns and grimaces work in the opposite manner; essentially pushing people away, smiling is seen as more attractive. People may even assume you have more positive personality traits if you’re smiling.
- Smiling suggests success. Research shows that people who smile regularly appear more confidant and they are more likely to be promoted. This can be observed at meetings and business appointments. You might find that people react to you differently.
- Smiling helps you maintain a positive outlook. It’s hard to smile and at the same time think of something negative without losing that smile. Regardless of whether or not your smile is genuine, it still sends the message to the brain and the rest of your body that “Life is good and there is reason to be hopeful”.
Your smile is God’s free gift to you. Start your journey to a heathy body with a healthy mouth and a healthy smile. So, despite wearing a physical mask during these times, a healthy smile starts on the inside. Those around you will feel it. Your eyes will highlight the window to our soul. The ancient proverb says it well, “Life is like a mirror, smile at it and it smiles back at you”.
Dr. Kendal V. O. Major is Founder and CEO of Center for Specialized Dentistry which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in Nassau and Freeport. He is the first Bahamian Specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He also is a certified Fast braces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, Nassau at (242)325-5165 or [email protected]