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The Importance of a Smile

Just smile. Really. Try it. A simple smile can be the most powerful tool at our disposal… and we all have one. Most of all, a smile can make all the difference in the world. One smile has the power to release stress, calm you down, make you attractive, make someone else happy and believe it or not, smiling can actually cause your own happiness.

So, in honor of National Smile Month, I would like to share my top five reasons for encouraging you to smile today.

Smiling Releases Stress

Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting a good night of sleep.  How does this happen? Smiling decreases the stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your physical and mental health. Scientists have also demonstrated that holding a smile on one's face during periods of stress may help the heart. This lends support to the old adage "grin and bear it", suggesting it may also make us feel better.

Smiling Makes You More Attractive

“A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear” – Unknown. This is true! Scientists have shown that happy, smiling faces influence the emotional well-being of the observer, which in turn makes us more attractive. A smile may also signal better health (and indeed, positive emotions have been found to improve cardiovascular function) and the perception of good health has been associated with attractiveness in a number of studies.

Smiling Can Improve Your Social Network

Ever wondered why people forget who you are, even when you think you’ve made the right sort of impression? Or why you can remember a certain business contact’s face more readily than others? Well, according to new research the reason for this is simple. Researchers say it has to do with your smile. A smiling face is much more memorable than a neutral or fearful one. So if you really want to make a great impression, put on a happy face.

Smiling Can Influence Your Happiness

Many of us smile because we’re happy and it conveys the emotion of joy to others. But this is not always the case. Sometimes we can be happy

because

we smile.

For a long time, scientists have linked emotions with smiling.  It’s called ‘facial feedback hypothesis’. Our brains react to what our body is doing and it can affect our emotions. If we put on a smile, whether we’re genuinely happy or not, our brains will interpret it as happiness and our mood will change accordingly. This means just the simple act smiling can lead you to feel actual happiness or joy — and being happier helps you keep the smile going in a genuine way. Your fake smile is now a real one!

Smiling Can Make Others Happy

Smiling helps to generate more positive emotions in the people around you. That’s why we often feel happier around children – they smile more. On average, children smile

400 times

a day while average "happy" adult smiles 40-50 times a day. It’s important to remember that smiling, even we we are not necessarily happy, will make it more likely that  the people around us will smile, and that can improve our mood as well.

There's just one trick to making smiling work for you: You need to do it right. A true, genuine smile is called a Duchenne smile. It uses all the muscles in the face, including the "laugh lines" around your eyes. Engaging all these muscles is important, even in a fake smile.

If you're smiling on purpose to help your mood or the mood of other people, or to make a great impression, you want to smile until your cheeks lift and you feel your laugh lines crinkle. You can see how it feels by holding a pencil horizontally between your teeth as you smile.

So there we go. A smile might seem like a simple act that we often take for granted. But it can really can make you feel better, and make others respond more positively to you. We can use a smile to show our positive feelings or mask our more negative ones. A smile really is one of our greatest gifts!

Do you want to improve your smile?  Give us a call at 919.755.3450.  We offer complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultations.  Thank you.