The simple act of smiling is a powerful tool that helps us communicate without saying a thing, but it also has numerous positive effects on our health and well-being. When we smile or laugh, there are a number of physiological changes that occur in the body without us being consciously aware of what is happening. Unfortunately, 33% of young adults (and 25% of adults), avoid smiling due to the condition of their mouth and teeth according to the ADA. That means poor oral health is preventing a large number of people from these additional physical and psychological benefits!
Surprising ways smiling affects your body and mind
- improved mood
- stress relief
- lower blood pressure
- stronger immune system
- pain relief
- enhanced attractiveness
- better relationships
- improved confidence.
“Smiling elevates your mood and creates a sense of well-being. As behavioral psychologist Sarah Stevenson writes in this post, “Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain.” The notorious party animals dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin start whooping it up when you smile. And a bonus: those endorphins serve as natural pain relievers and act as the body’s own opiates.”
—Sarah Stevenson Psychology Today via Meg Selig Psychology Today
Meg Selig detailed The 9 superpowers of your smile for Psychology Today, and discusses each of these benefits in depth and I’d highly recommend if you’d like to know if fake smiles work, if smiling is better than chocolate, or if smiling is the magic-8 ball of predicting whether a marriage will work. Spoiler alert: I think it will make you smile.