27th June 2018
Smile! 5 health benefits of smiling
The words we use and how we say them convey a certain message, but over 90% of human interaction is non-verbal. Our body language and facial expression can dictate exactly what we’re trying to communicate, which is why our smiles say a thousand words. Your smile is the most memorable part of your face, but did know these amazing facts? Your smile could benefit your health!
1. Smiling is contagious
According to a study in this scientific journal, evidence shows that we mirror people’s facial expressions almost subconsciously. We apparently ‘try on’ the emotions of the people who are opening communication with us. This is why when you pass a stranger in the street and they smile, you can’t help but flash a smile back at them. This helps us to not only communicate, but it also triggers the very human intentions of trying to understand and empathise with those around us. We’re constantly decoding what we see, so we mimic a smile when see one.
2. A smile can reduce stress and help your heart
A 2012 study that has been repeated and replicated numerous times shows that smiling can reduce stress and help your heart. The study details two different types of smiles and monitors the participants heartrates and moods – a lot of science involved. The results showed that those who were instructed to smile recovered from stressful activities with lower heart rates than those with neutral expressions. The phrase ‘grin and bear it’ might be applicable here.
3. We practice our smile in the womb
Durham University conducted research that showed that unborn babes practice smiling in the womb. This means that they can communicate to their parents as soon as they’re born. They also try out grimacing, furrowing their brows, and wrinkling their nose long before birth. They aren’t aware of the meaning of a smile, which could possibly point to how smiling is naturally ingrained in all of us.
4. A smile is good for pain relief
You may not feel like smiling through the pain, but it could help you. Laughter and smiling works as the body’s own natural painkillers. It can heighten your pain threshold and create a higher pain tolerance, according to a 2012 study. This could possibly be because we’re tricking the brain into thinking something positive is happening. If having great teeth makes you want to smile more, then you could also be boosting your health and happiness too.
5. Laughter is the best medicine
Laughing and smiling can, believe it or not, boost your immune system. Laughter and positive thoughts release molecules in your brain that combat stress and illness, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity. Laughter therapy can also be a handy resource for new mums, as it boosts the immune system of the changing body.
It is because of all these attributes combined that smiling and positive emotions are associated with increased life spans!
We think you should always smile as wide and often as you can, but this can be difficult if you don’t feel confident in the appearance of your teeth. If you find yourself hiding your teeth when in social situations and masking your true happiness with closed lips, then our Clapham dental practice can help. We offer a range of services from professional cleaning to discrete and tasteful teeth straightening options, as well as routine dentistry. Visit Crescent Lodge Dental Practice in South West London today to discover that your teeth are the real reason to smile about.
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