Do you ever look at older photographs and wonder why the subjects don’t smile? In modern times, people spend lots of time and money improving their smiles. Do you know why as a culture we have come to value smiles so highly? Smiles are actually way more valuable than people realize! There are a ton of social, emotional, economic, and physical benefits to smiling.
It makes you happier
Smiles produce endorphins in your brain. Endorphins create a feeling of happiness or joy and can be addicting. So the more you smile, the happier you feel and the more you want to smile. It’s a perfect cycle for increasing happiness.
It can fatten your wallet
People perceive frequent smilers as more attractive. This can be a significant advantage in the workplace. Attractive people are more likely to be hired, promoted faster than their co-workers, and tend to earn 3% more over the course of their career than less attractive people.
It can get you promoted
Not only do people view smiley workers as more attractive, but they also attribute more confidence and intelligence to them. It goes without saying that management is more likely to promote or appreciate employees that they perceive as intelligent or an asset to their team.
It improves relationships
Smiles are also great for improving relationships of any kind. A wide grin communicates friendliness and hospitality. Creating a friendly and welcoming environment leads to growth and depth in relationships. Smiling also improves trust, which can help build a strong relational foundation.
It wards off the blues
Smiling increases serotonin levels in your brain. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression and aggression. Don’t misunderstand us. Clinical Depression is a serious condition that is not “fixed” with a simple smile. But if you have the everyday blues or find yourself snapping at everyone, try listening to your favorite comedian or remembering a great vacation. The serotonin boost might be just what you need to turn a bad day around.
It boosts your immune system
Smiling can lower your blood pressure, boost white blood cell production, and lower your stress levels. Even if you aren’t feeling happy, scientists have noted a correlation between the physical act of smiling and improved mood and health. Sometimes smiling when you’re not feeling it can actually trick your own brain into being happier.
It improves other’s moods
Whether you are begging forgiveness or trying to cheer someone up, smiles are contagious! When you need to improve how someone else feels about you, give them a smile- it can be tweaked to be a sheepish grin or a genuine beam. A smile is the perfect icebreaker for any conversation.
It increases your productivity
Believe it or not, a simple smile on your face can actually make you work smarter! In 2010, Andrew Oswald of Warwick University produced a study that proves happier people were 12% more productive at work. This is not only a good reason for you to put a smile on your face, but also great reasoning to do what you can to make your workplace a happier, friendly place. Whether you are the boss or not, flash your pearly whites at your co-workers and brighten their day- and boost their work!
It helps you live longer
A surprising study from the University College London showed a correlation between smiling, positive people and a slightly longer lifespan. Undoubtedly, many of the reasons we’ve already listed above are contributing factors. Smiling increases your social, emotional, and physical health, which logically leads to a longer life. Another, smaller study from the Wayne State University in Michigan backs up this claim. In this study, those who smiled more lived an average of 79.9 years, as opposed to their glum peers who lived an average of 72.9 years.
It costs nothing
One of the best things about a smile? It’s free. To give, to share, to enjoy. If you heard an ad for a product that had all these incredible benefits and was absolutely free, you wouldn’t hesitate. So start changing your habits today, and make a habit to grin more!
Is your smile a source of anxiety? Are you ashamed to break into a grin? Don’t let shame keep you from the carefree joy that comes from a good smile. We love working with our patients to help them get a smile they can be proud of.