By now you know that, at RADIUS, we’re allllll about the smiles.
That said, we know that smiling isn’t just about looking good….it’s about feeling good too! Smiling has an astounding impact on your overall health, but don’t just trust us…
How? Let us walk you through the 7 main science-backed benefits of smiling:
1. Mood-boosting Mania!
We typically think that if you smile it’s because you feel good, but did you know that the physical act of smiling can actually cause you to feel good? It’s true! When we smile, we release dopamine, serotonin and endorphins that act as antidepressants...so you want to be happier? Try smiling first.
2. Stifle Stress!
Know what else smiling can do? It can help us alleviate stress! One study showed that people recovered from short-term stress more quickly after they smiled...how cool is that? It also significantly reduces your blood pressure so, if you’re the type that is prone to panic and sadness, maybe conjure up some good memories and try a little smile. It might feel counterintuitive at first, but the discomfort is worth the result.
3. Peace Out Pain!
So, remember we mentioned that endorphins were released when you smile? Well, those endorphins don’t just make you happier, they can also act as pain reliever. Not only that, but they can actually increase your tolerance for pain. One study showed that when people smiled prior to receiving an injection, they reported less pain and were recorded to have a lower stress response during the experience. Additionally, multiple studies have even linked smiling and overall positive emotions to a lower susceptibility to contracting illness. So, basically, you want to be healthy? Then keep on smilin’!
4. Catch-On Cheerfulness!
You smile, I smile. Studies have shown that not only is it a natural physiological response to smile in reaction to seeing someone else smile, but that the reward center in our brain is activated by watching someone else smile. Don’t believe us? Just watch this video of a kid who decided to “spread the smile”. We guarantee it’ll be hard not to be happier after watching this video. One more thing: in one study adolescent girls who were predisposed to depression had a noticeably decreased stress response after being exposed to smiling faces. So, in essence, by smiling, you can literally spread the benefits.
5. A Younger You!
Did you know that when you smile people actually perceive you as looking younger? A study published in Psychology and Aging showed that when people looked at the pictures of smiling, neutral, and angry faces, they judged the smiling faces to look the youngest. In fact, the faces looked an average of 2 years younger when smiling. Not only that, but a Swiss study showed that people who smiled were perceived as more attractive. How is that for 2-for-1 benefits!
6. Smiling Equal Success!
Multiple studies have linked happiness and general positive emotions to increased productivity, creativity, and problem-solving. Likewise, smiling also makes individuals appear more confident, which is linked to a greater likelihood for promotion and overall workplace advancement.
7. Laughter for Longevity!
In a study conducted in over 70,000 people over three decades, they found that optimistic people have 11-15% increased longevity than non-optimistic peers. They are also 50-70% more likely to make it to 85. While this point isn’t necessarily about smiling, we can bet you those optimists aren’t frowning their way into a positive worldview. As we already know, smiling inherently improves your mood so it stands to reason that it’d be pretty tricky to get through an optimistic life without a fair amount of smiling.
One word of advice on all of these benefits of smiling: the more authentic your smile is, the better it is for your health. While there is some evidence to suggest that artificially-induced smiles do have a positive impact, they generally don’t produce as great a benefit as the real deal. A lot of these studies work primarily off of ‘genuine’ smiles.
So, what is considered a genuine smile? A genuine smile is one that produces the wrinkles around your eyes. This kind of smile is, in scientific circles, referred to as a Duchenne smile (named after the initial French researcher that studied them in the 19th century). You may not love the crows feet, but they do indicate a lifetime of authentic smiling so be proud to bear the mark of a genuine life of happiness!
Not feeling it? Although ‘faking’ your smile might not produce the same benefits of a genuine smile, you can induce a genuine smile through intent. How do you do that? Well, as discussed earlier, it’s sometimes as simple as seeing someone else smile. So, you want to smile? The best way to do it is to make someone else smile first. It’s one of the reasons why giving is so fundamental to happiness.
So, the lesson of the day is:
Don’t forget to smile today and every day….and bonus points for spreading that smile around.
Now, you may be wondering why a company focused on oral health would be writing about the act of smiling. It’s because not only do we care about the overall health of our community, but we recognize that many people smile less because they are embarrassed about their teeth.
A study conducted by Bupa, an international healthcare group, showed that a third of people were embarrassed by their smile and 42% said their smile was the first thing they’d change about themselves.
So here’s our promise to you: we promise to help provide the best oral care tools so you can have the kind of smile you won’t hesitate to share with the world.
Live long, live happy, and smile often.