In the last year I have traveled to Dallas, Phoenix and I just returned from a family get together in Palm Beach, Florida. The one thing I noticed was that more people smile big in the southern U.S. Here in Vancouver we seem to be a little glum in the fall and winter; not too many smiles. Maybe a sunny climate promotes sunny dispositions. I read an article the other day on the web about the benefits of smiling and as the SMILE DENTIST I thought it would be good to share it with you at this time of year.
Everyone loves the quote “laughter is the best medicine” and you have probably even experienced the benefits of smiling and laughter. In fact, smiling can boost your mood and even your immune system. Here are 10 fascinating facts about our smiles…
1. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.
2. It boosts your immune system: Smiling can improve your physical health too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
3. A Beautiful Smiles is contagious: It’s not just a saying: smiling really is contagious, scientists say. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
4. Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.
5. It’s easier to smile than to frown: Scientists have discovered that your body has to work harder and use more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
6. It’s a universal sign of happiness: While hand shakes, hugs, and bows all have varying meanings across cultures, smiling is known around the world and in all cultures as a sign of happiness and acceptance.
7. We still smile at work: While we smile less at work than we do at home, 30% of subjects in a research study smiled five to 20 times a day, and 28% smiled over 20 times per day at the office.
8. Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles: Just smiling can require your body to use up to 53 muscles, but some smiles only use 5 muscle movements.
9. Babies are born with the ability to smile: Babies learn a lot of behaviors and sounds from watching the people around them, but scientists believe that all babies are born with the ability, since even blind babies smile.
10. Smiling helps you get promoted: Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion.
So even if it is dark, rainy and you have a cold, put on a big smile, you will feel better, really.
Dr Jeffrey Norden