How Smiling Can Change Your Life
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
Imagine walking out your door first thing in the morning and being greeted by everyone as you smile back at them. Your smile brings joy to others. It elicits joy within. A transformation occurs at work and in relationships when a smile is front and center. Dr. Ian Smith’s experience with smile restorations changes lives.
Your Overall Well-being Gets Happy
With smiling, there’s a sense of unmatched confidence. It affects your work life, your relationships, your ability to move forward with important decisions, and feels incredibly satisfying. Smiling and your well-being go hand in hand.
The Significance to Your Health
- Smiling affects your brain – The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. Smiling facilitates the release of neuropeptides that work towards alleviating stress. These neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate and send messages to the entire body when a person feels emotions. Dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are the positive feeling neurotransmitters that help to relax the body, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Smiling affects your body – Your appearance improves twofold when you smile. People respond differently and there’s a sense of feeling rewarded. As a whole for the body, smiling makes you viewed as attractive and activates the region in your brain that processes sensory rewards. Both men and women are more attracted to images of people who make eye contact and smile than those who do not. Smiling puts a spring in your step.
- Smiling affects those around you – A smile is contagious. The part of your brain that is responsible for facial expressions of smiling when you’re happy or mimicking another’s smile lives in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area. Facial pronouncements go directly to the recipient, and the conscious effort to turn a frown into a smile is evident.
- Laughing expands the lungs – A seriously good belly laugh can expand the lungs, stretch the muscles in the body, tone the abdominal muscles, and stimulate homeostasis. This replenishes the cells by exercising the body in a way that the lungs get completely filled with oxygen, similar to how cardiovascular exercises work.
- Smiling releases endorphins – As the release of endorphins is increased, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Cortisol is more active when we feel stressed and anxious, which contributes to unpleasant feelings. Smiling lowers the negativity and allows for positive emotions to take over. People trying to lose weight will also benefit from smiling more, as cortisol is an active hormone that prevents people from dropping pounds if they’re too stressed out.
- A happy expression serves you well in life – From job interviews to building healthy relationships to advancing in your career, a smiling face indicates confidence and an ability to cope with challenging situations. This can be seen as favorable in the eyes of employers and potential life partners.
There’s always something to smile about. Once you begin to consciously look at all the things that are uplifting and funny, you’ll be more aware of them, in tune with them, and more apt to engage in a spontaneous laugh or smile.
The Allure of a Smile
When you’ve had missing teeth, or gaps in your smile, and your self-esteem feels like it’s not up to par, restoring your smile makes the top of your list. A smiling face has allure. It not only changes your own life, but makes a difference in the lives of others.