Smiling is something that most people view as an involuntary response to external situations. Think about the last funny video you watched of a puppy falling asleep while standing up. Just the recollection of something funny or joyful evokes a genuine smile. What we are learning from numerous studies is that smiling doesn’t have to be involuntary; it can be a choice. We are also learning that this act produces much more than goodwill between ourselves and another person.
Fake it till you Make it
When you think of smiling as an involuntary reaction rather than a voluntary choice, you may rob yourself of a quick and easy way to improve your own personal happiness. Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate whether or not a forced smile could have the same benefits as an authentic expression. The findings may seem surprising.
The physical act of smiling is not differentiated by the brain nor by the body. Just as when we smile as a reaction, a forced smile causes the stimulation of endorphins and neuropeptides in the brain. According to research, this can lead to a faster recovery from stressful situations, and also to heightened creativity and productivity. In one study on happiness and smiling, productivity was shown to increase by about 12% in participants primed to be in a good mood.
Smiling evokes relaxation
In addition to lowering stressful chemicals like cortisol, smiling has also been shown to evoke relaxation at a cellular level. What this means in terms of general health and wellness is significant. While it may seem counterintuitive, cells that are rigid are more likely to be vulnerable to mutation induced by stress. When we smile, the cells throughout the body actually become less rigid and more capable of resisting the mutations that can lead to illness and disease such as cancer. Coupled with the increase in white blood cell activity, the strengthening of cells in general is ample reason to smile as a part of our personal health maintenance.
Schedule an appointment
One of the biggest roadblocks to smiling is self-consciousness about the appearance of teeth. Don’t let this stand in your way of the various benefits waiting for you. Schedule your visit at Deer Park Dental to repair, replace, or enhance teeth.