On the surface, smiling might seem like a straightforward thing to do, but you would be surprised at what researchers have learned about the psychology of smiling in West Cobb. In fact, in many ways smiling and feeling good are a “chicken-and-egg” situation – which one comes first? Of course, you smile in response to feeling happy or amused. But it turns out that the act of smiling – even when you don’t feel like it – can actually lead to feeling happy all by itself. Not to mention that it’s a universal language that anyone, anywhere can understand. Keep reading to learn more about the interesting research on the psychological benefits of smiling and how it can improve your mood right away!
1. Reduce Stress
Results published in the journal Psychological Science found that smiling can actually reduce the heart rate and other physiological responses to stress in negative situations.
So, the next time you’re faced with a difficult conversation or a deadline at work, try smiling for a few moments to ease the tension and minimize the impact it has on your overall health.
2. Increase Happiness
Simply put, smiling just feels good. In fact, studies show that smiling (even if you have to force it) can help you beat the winter blues because it increases happiness and improves your mood.
Also, it’s been found that a smile actually stimulates the positive “pleasure centers” of the brain even more than eating chocolate (with the added bonus that it won’t lead to weight gain!)
3. Change the Way Other People See You
Smiling changes the way you interact with the world (and how it interacts with you). When people smile, others perceive them as more intelligent, competent and likable.
Not to mention that people tend to rate others who are smiling as younger, more attractive and even thinner than those who aren’t. Talk about a win-win situation.
4. Improve Your Pain Tolerance
In studies done at the University of Oxford, researchers “induced” laughter in one group of subjects by having them watch a funny movie. They found that the group who had laughed had higher levels of pain tolerance than the group that didn’t.
What If You Don’t Like Your Smile?
Clearly, smiling provides many benefits that really add to your life. But if you don’t feel so great about your smile, you might hesitate to show it off. However, don’t feel discouraged. There are simple cosmetic dental procedures that can make a big difference – and it’s often easier and more affordable than you would expect.
If you’d like to know more about your options, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist. That way you can discuss your needs and goals and leave with an idea of what procedures would benefit you the most.
After all, everyone deserves to feel happy – and feeling good about your smile is a great place to start!