Douglas Horton famously said “Smile, it’s free therapy!” Turns out, he wasn’t far off in his cheeky claim. Smiling can indeed improve your psychological well-being, and even your physical health. In truth, the benefits of this simple act are profound and contagious. Here are just a few ways smiling can benefit your health in a remarkable way:
It Instantly Lowers Stress Levels
Dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are all released when we smile, causing an immediate relaxation effect, and even lowering blood pressure.
It Can Alleviate Pain and Depression
The endorphins released during the act of smiling can help to reduce pain sensation in the body, while the serotonin level increase in the brain helps to battle depression and anxiety.
It Puts Those Around You at Ease
An article published by the Huffington Post suggests that people perceive an authentic smile as a sign of trustworthiness and approachability.
It Helps You Succeed On the Job
Smiling helps increase productivity, creativity, and even positive customer relations. According to Sunwarrior, “Those who smile are more likely to earn more money through tips and raises. They are more readily approached with business ideas and offered advancements.”
It Increases Confidence
The act of smiling can create a feeling of positivity and well-being, which helps to boost confidence. Since it puts those around you at ease, it makes people more available to hear you out or participate in your ideas.
It Makes You More Attractive to Others
Studies have shown that people perceive others who smile as being more attractive than those who do not. In fact, Psychology Today says, “seeing an attractive smiling face activates your orbitofrontal cortex, the region in your brain that processes sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.”
It Keeps You Healthy
Smiling provides a natural immunity boost and helps the body defend itself against illness. In addition, a study at Berkeley found that smiling had a profound effect on heart rate and stress response.
Of course, a genuine smile is a lot easier to crack if you feel confident about your grin. If you feel embarrassed or self-conscious about your teeth, you may be missing out on these tremendous benefits because you’re holding back on those authentic smiles. Dr. Terry L. Brewick helps patients in Governor’s Park, Denver to find their smiles again with cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Learn more by visiting our home page.