A smile can change the world. Did you know that fetuses smile in the womb or that blind babies smile when they recognize the voice of a human? Dentists like Dr. Jon understands the importance of a smile. Smiling is as vital as breathing, and here are ten reasons why this is true.
1. Smile to be happier
To begin with, smiling has a very positive effect on yourself. Your equilibrium is a two-way street—the communication between your brain and your body. The known pathway is the one that goes from the brain to your muscles when something makes you happy, and your brain gives the order to your face to smile.
There’s also the opposite way of communication. If you smile, even if it’s not genuine, your brain still receives that information from the muscles. Your brain understands that you are smiling, and that’s all it knows. Therefore, it believes that something must be making you happy. To be consistent, your emotional state shifts towards optimism, and you start to feel more cheerful.
2. Smile to provoke positive emotions
A Harvard University study showed that when someone is happy, people close to them are 25% more likely to be happy too. Smiling not only makes you happy, but it also sends the signal to those around you that you are a social, trustworthy, and dependable person. It’s also evolutionarily contagious.
You may have noticed that when you smile at someone, even a stranger on the street, they are likely to smile back. In fact, studies show that at least half of the strangers on a random street do smile back at a stranger.
This is due to the effect of mirror neurons and reciprocity. When they smile back, you induce a positive change in the emotional state of that person. That’s very beneficial because it will unconsciously associate that positive feeling with your presence.
3. Smile to earn money
A study carried out on wait staff found that servers obtained more tips when they smiled at customers. It seems logical since smiling provokes positive emotions in others and makes us appear more honest and transparent.
However, in professions in which it is required to smile constantly, such as hostessing, cheerleading, and others, a phenomenon known as emotional work occurs that can be exhausting and cause burnout because there is a constant contradiction between real emotions and those shown.
If you work for the public and want to earn extra money, smile a little more. But don’t overdo it, or you might end up paying for it.
4. Smile to be forgiven
It turns out that we also tend to be more condescending to people who, after making a mistake or doing something wrong, smile. Research suggests that when someone smiles after making a mistake, it gives us the feeling of being more honest.
The smile is evolutionarily a sign of submission that decreases the winner’s aggressiveness towards the loser. Therefore, if you smile after you make a mistake, you might reduce the hostility of those around you.
In embarrassing situations, some studies have shown that lowering our eyes with regret and smiling slightly strengthens social ties with others to empathize with us, helping them forgive us more quickly.
5. Smile to find solutions
People under pressure or under stress tend to reduce their peripheral vision and focus only on what is in front of them. This effect is called tunnel vision. It not only happens on a visual level but on a decisive level. We also stop contemplating ideas beyond those that we have in front of our noses.
What happens is that often, to solve something, we need to think more abstractly and also consider other less conventional proposals. At these times, smiling can reduce our narrow-mindedness and increase our flexibility and imagination, which is precisely what is best for us.
Stuck on something? Remember to smile while looking for the solution.
A healthy, bright smile is a clear indicator of future success. Authentic smiles seem not to be a momentary expression of emotion but an outward manifestation of the way you like your life. We want to keep your pearly whites in top-notch condition. Call us soon at 317-745-4400 to schedule your next checkup.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.