The clocks have gone back, daylight is shortening, and the festive season looms closer bringing with it many more reasons to smile. However, the decrease in daylight can be a problem for many. Thankfully, we all come equipped with the tools to help. Heading into the winter months is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the health benefits of smiling.
- Did you know the simple act of smiling boosts endorphin release in the brain and nervous system? Endorphins are our friends, lowering stress and anxiety.
- Another benefit of endorphins is they act as painkillers.
- Smiling improves mood, even when not in social settings.
- When in social settings, happy faces are preferred to neutral faces. It seems obvious, but how often are we out in the world, or in front of a screen in neutral or scowling without realizing? We don’t drive in neutral or reverse (at least not too long), why neutralize our face.
- There is power in the giving of a smile. Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing”.
- Smiling children are a boon. Studies in Sweden showed other people’s smiles suppress control over our facial muscles forcing us to smile, and children smile 400 times a day compared to the 20 smiles of the average adult!
Take your smile one step further to belly-busting laughter. Hard laughter leads to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption. If this reminds you of exercise, you would be correct. However, this is only present in periods of intense laughter and should not replace aerobic exercise, or to justify that extra bag of chips, no matter how tempting.
Research in the activity of smiling continues to uncover various benefits, including links to boosting your immune system. Now armed with knowledge of the health benefits of smiling, look after your most important asset, your teeth.
For bright, and beautiful smiles, the smile you desire, schedule your free smile analysis at Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dental today.