A wide smile on your face does not only make you look better. According to research, it can make you mentally healthier, too.
Smiling greatly improves your mood and is also capable of reducing your stress levels. While few people would argue that too much grinning is bad for you, research shows that flashing your teeth is beneficial to your well-being.
A study from Penn State University in the U.S. reported that people who smile more appear courteous, likeable and competent. This alone should be a good enough reason for you to smile more, especially while at work.
How a Smile Changes your Brain
When you smile, your brain keeps track of your current activity. Smiling more often breaks the brain’s tendency to stray towards negative thinking. If you grin often, you re-wire your brain to create positive patterns, overwriting the negative thoughts.
Shawn Achor, author of The Positive Tetris Effect, says it’s important to retrain the brain ‘to scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels’. When you smile a lot, you trigger a positive thinking pattern, which ultimately creates a happiness loop. The more you do it, the more your brain will shift towards more positive thoughts.
Smiling often is effective in altering bad thoughts, especially when you are in a situation that causes alarm.
Smiling Can Save Your Life
A smile does not only benefit your brain—it can also save your life, according to biochemist Sondra Barrett.
She says once you let go of unnecessary tension—which you can easily achieve through smiling—you free your cells from the rigidity. According to Barrett’s study, this can save your life. She adds that there have been cases where cancer patients go into remission after releasing their stresses.
‘Our cells are more than just fortuitous arrangements of chemicals’, she says. ‘They are a community of trillions of sentient entities cooperating to create a sanctuary for the human soul.’
Scientifically speaking, smiling leads to a better life quality. With a great smile comes a great mental outlook. David Madruga will give you more reasons to smile by helping you achieve that perfect set of pearly whites. Give our practice a call now.