3 Benefits of Flashing Your Smile
What’s in a smile?
Did you know it takes between 11 to 17 muscles to form a smile? Crazy! It actually takes even more to form a frown. A lot of people can be self-conscious about their smile because it isn’t perfectly white or straight, but there are three REALLY good benefits of smiling! Dr. Jamie Reynolds, an orthodontist, national and international lecturer and author of “World Class Smiles Made in Detroit” says “A smile works on both the physical and emotional level to transfer positive feelings between the parties involved.” He also identifies the reasons we should smile MORE! Smiling is beneficial for everyone – so start smiling!
1. Your longevity might depend on it!
A 2010 study by Wayne State University measured the span of smiles on Major League Baseball players from their 1952 trading cards. The study found that those who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of 72.9 years, versus 79.9 years for the players who did smile.
2. Smiling has therapeutic effects.
There are a number of therapeutic effects that smiling has on a person’s brain and demeanor, Reynolds says. Smiling reduces stress hormone levels, taking on similar conditions to cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, while increasing mood-enhancing endorphins. British researchers found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as 2,000 chocolate bars, while lowering blood pressure at the same time.
3. Smiles are a universal language.
Non-verbal communication doesn’t always translate well between cultures. In the United States, for example, a thumbs-up signals that all is well. Try that gesture in Australia and the reaction might be a little different from expected, thanks to a vulgar meaning of the hand sign. Smiling at that same person, however, should give the recipient the intended positive response. In every culture and every country across the world, a smile means the same thing, essentially making it a universal language.
“If you have a smile you are proud of, you want to show it off to others,” says Reynolds. “I’d like to see everyone giving off honest, heart-felt smiles.”
I tell my students all the time that their actions speak louder than their words! They may be saying something nice, but they have body language that doesn’t line up. I explain just what Dr. Reynolds says – smiling is beneficial AND a universal sign that everyone understands as friendly! I don’t have a perfect smile, by any means, but any smile is taken as a sign of happiness and friendliness. We need to smile more! Spread love – not hate 🙂 There are a lot of benefits to smiling!