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Why smile? How you can smile your way into happiness, health, your dream job, your dream partner and more

19 More Reasons To Smile!

Scientists have shown that smiling improves your health. As well as the many physical health benefits, smiling can have a distinctive positive affect on other aspects of your life. When you smile and laugh, your body undergoes a number of physiological changes, mostly without you being aware of it happening.

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MENTAL HEALTH

  • Smiling is an instant anti-depressant. We release endorphins when we smile. Your brain responds to the movements of the muscles in your face by releasing these chemicals. Endorphins are what make us feel happy, it’s the same chemicals that get released after a workout at the gym (or when eating chocolate), and they also help lower stress levels.
  • Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep, according to recent studies.
  • Even forcing yourself to smile is as good as the real thing—the brain doesn’t differentiate between real or fake as it interprets the positioning of the facial muscles in the same way. The more we stimulate our brain to release this chemical, the more often we feel happier and relaxed. So next time you feel down, smile and fake it til you make it!

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PHYSICAL HEATLH

  • Smiling really can improve your physical health. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
  • Those who smile live longer. 7 whole years longer on average! Our emotional health closely relates to our physical health. Since smiling  makes you happier, you will likely live a longer, more relaxed life than those who regularly frown.
  • Smiling while eating healthy foods makes it more enjoyable 
  • Smiling while exercising actually makes your workout better 

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SOCIAL LIFE

  • Smiling is a universal sign of happiness. Language may sometimes pose as a barrier, yet a simple smile is understood by all cultures.
  • We smile more when we are in the company of other people, than if we are alone. While you may every now and then laugh at something funny on T.V. or smile to yourself, you are more likely to smile when you are around other people. A study with 10 month old babies found that they smiled much more when being surrounded by others than being alone.
  • Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away. Smiling makes you appear more approachable. Interaction with others is easier and more enjoyable when smiles and laughs are shared, and these behaviours are contagious, making others feel better too, and make you a more appealing and attractive person to be around. This in turn will have a positive effect on your well-being.
  • 71% of the public believe people with nice smiles make friends easier.

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ROMANTIC LIFE

  • 75% of people think a nice smile is important when trying to attract members of the opposite sex.
  • 85% of people thought that a person’s smile was very important on a first meeting (or blind date).

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ATTRACTIVENESS

  • Smiles are more attractive than makeup! A study conducted by Orbit Complete found that almost 70% of people found women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
  • 85% of people thought that a person’s smile was very important on a first meeting

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CAREER

  • You are more likely to get a promotion if you smile often. Those who smile are perceived as being confident and social, therefore bosses are more likely to put these people in a position of power and responsibility.
  • 75% of people view a good smile as an important factor when going for a new job.
  • If that’s not enough, smiling can actually make you look good in the eyes of others. A  study at Penn State University found that when you smile, you don’t only appear to be more likeable and courteous, but you actually appear to be more competent.
  • Smiling when you talk on the phone makes you sound more friendly. Smiling translates into your voice to make you sound happy and engaging, which allows you to achieve better customer service. 

 

A few references:

Abel, E. L., & Kruger, M. L. (2010). Smile intensity in photographs predicts longevity. Psychological Science, 21 , 542–544.

Goldberg, L. S., & Grandey, A. A. (2007). Display rules versus display autonomy: Emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and task performance in a call center simulation. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 12, 301-318.

Harker, L. A., & Keltner, D. (2001). Expressions of positive emotion in women’s college yearbook pictures and their relationship to personality and life outcomes across adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80 , 112–124.

Kraft, Tara L., & Pressman, Sarah D. (2012). Grin and bear it: The influence of manipulated facial expression on the stress response. Psychological Science.

Orne, Martin T. (1962). On the social psychology of the psychological experiment: With particular reference to demand characteristics and their implications. American Psychologist, 17, 776–783.

Peterson, C., & Xydis, K. (2011). Positive psychology for health and fitness professionals. Tucson, AZ: DSWFitness.

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An online healthy lifestyle blog from a dental point of view - Advice on how to live a healthy lifeSMILE :)