A smile is powerful. It may seem like a simple expression, but smiling actually has the ability to transform your mood, improve your work and enhance your interpersonal relationships. It’s incredible what a smile can do! Here, Dr. Darian Hampton of the Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry shares some unexpected benefits of smiling.
Influences Your Mood
Usually a facial expression is a reflection of your mood, but studies suggest that your mood could reflect your facial expression! These means that smiling when you don’t feel like it could make you happier. For decades, psychologists have done experiments on the relationship between facial expressions and mood. Some studies have found that wearing a big smile produces a change in brain activity that elevates mood.
Try it — even if you don’t feel cheery, arrange your face into a smile and watch your mood instantly improve.
Influences the Mood of Others
Smiles are contagious! When we see someone smiling, special brain cells called mirror neurons cause us to reciprocate the expression. We subconsciously want to simulate the intention and emotion of whomever is smiling. Brighten the mood in the room by sharing your smile and starting a chain reaction.
Science shows that smiling can reduce stress. Psychologists from the University of Kansas asked students to hold chopsticks in their mouths in certain arrangements (some had neutral expressions and others different degrees of smiling) and perform stressful tasks. The students with the biggest smiles showed a reduction in heart rate and a quicker stress recovery than those with neutral expressions.
As we’ve discussed, smiling can boost happiness, and economic researchers have discovered that happy workers are more productive! If you’re an employer, you might want to consider the implications of making your employees happier (hint: it can lead to higher productivity and profits for your company!).
People that are happier are also more creative in their problem solving. According to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, happiness triggers a surge of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter linked to motivation and making decisions. Happiness also increases activity in the areas of the brain responsible for learning and processing.
Are You Self-Conscious of Your Smile?
Do you avoid smiling because you’re embarrassed by your smile’s appearance? Are you self-conscious of crooked teeth, noticeable staining or a gap? Dr. Darian Hampton can help. He offers a range of cosmetic dentistry treatment options — such as teeth whitening and porcelain veneers — to improve the appearance of your teeth and gums so you can smile all day, every day!
To learn more about your cosmetic dentistry treatment options, please contact us by calling (972) 395-9292.