- Published Date: 10 Aug 2020
- Updated Date: 24 Sep 2020
- Reading Time: 3 min
“A smile spurs a powerful chemical reaction in the brain that can make you feel happier”
Science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system, and possibly even prolong your life.
It sounds like a pretty “backward” concept, isn’t it?
Happiness is what makes us smile; how can the reverse also be true? A smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and aggression. Low levels of dopamine are also associated with depression.
In other words, smiling can literally trick your brain into believing you’re happy which can then bring out actual feelings of happiness. But it doesn’t end there. In the science of psychoneuroimmunology (the study of how the brain is connected to the immune system), asserting that it has been shown “over & over again” that depression weakens your immune system, while happiness, on the other hand, has been shown to boost our body’s resistance. What seems to be crazy is that just the physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity. When you smile, the brain sees the muscle [activity] and assumes that humor is happening.
In a sense, the brain is definitely responsive to a grin. It doesn’t bother to sort out whether you’re smiling because you’re genuinely joyous, or because you’re just pretending. Even faking a smile can legitimately reduce stress and lower your heart rate. A study performed by a group at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who could not frown due to botox injections were happier on average than those who could frown.
And there are plenty more studies out there to make you smile (or at least, serve as a reference for why you should). Researchers at the University of Kansas published findings that smiling helps reduce the body’s response to stress and lower heart rate in tense situations; another study linked smiling to lower blood pressure, while yet another suggests that smiling leads to constancy.
Even when you are talking on the phone to relatives, friends & customers a smile is inevitable because smiling while you are talking makes you sound endearing, happy, and eager to help.
When traveling abroad and meeting people of different cultures & who speak languages that are foreign to you, you can use the international language of a smile. It can open doors to the hearts of people whose culture you do not know. A smile can change everything in seconds. It’s almost magical what a smile can do!
Smiling is very contagious and can light up a room. This is because we have mirror neurons that fire when we see action. As its name suggests, mirror neurons enable us to copy or reflect the behavior we observe in others and have been linked to the capacity for empathy. On a lesser scientific note, there’s also the idea that when we see a smile, we want to automatically reciprocate because we feel liked or loved. Smiling is contagious not just because of how a smile looks from the outside, but also because of the intention and the feeling that is put behind a smile. When someone smiles at you, you feel the good vibes from them, which makes you want to pass a smile on the next person, and so on and so forth.
Looking at yourself in the mirror, every day & smiling to yourself can get you through the most difficult of days & keep you going. That is why like bathing, self-motivation is recommended on a daily basis. A smile’s contagion is so potent, that we may even be able to catch one from ourselves. Smiling at yourself in the mirror, not only triggers our mirror neurons but can also help us calm down and re-center if we’re feeling low or anxious.
Many say, but I do not like my smile, there are imperfections and I am also not a person to laugh out loud in public because I am conscious of the imperfections my mouth possesses. Again, there is no need to worry! 90% of the millennials are now investing and focusing on self-care products to boost their confidence, their tolerance of stress & just how to go on with life on a day-to-day basis. Navigating through these crazy times of a global pandemic has brought this focus on self-care into light & more and more people are investing to make themselves feel better about themselves or cure imperfections of mind and body. This is where you can opt for ALIGNERCO’s aligners for teeth straightening and work on your smile. These clear braces are unnoticeable and are a perfectly discreet way to straighten your teeth & fix those gaps so smiling more can become a habit.
You also must have heard of this phrase that keeps popping up in love-songs, “Smiling through the pain”. Here smiling is referred to as your shield, your guard of honor, your companion!