We all know smiling shows when someone is happy. But it’s time we consider an interesting alternative: smiling is also a way to teach yourself to feel happy.
No matter what size or shape, you deserve to feel confident in your own skin. The great thing about a smile is that everyone has one. Your smile is infectious, free, and uniquely yours.
Here’s how you can use the uniqueness of your smile in your daily life.
Taking Care of Your Pearly Whites
Oral hygiene plays a big part in keeping your smile bright. If you don’t take care of your teeth, it will be harder to find confidence in your smile. Whether the problem is not thinking you have nice teeth or being unsure if your breath smells fine, good oral health answers many dental concerns.
Brush your teeth two to three times daily and floss at least once a day. This keeps your teeth clean and free of damage. Your breath will also stay fresher with regular brushing.
There are LED light-powered teeth whitening kits that can fight off tooth discoloration without causing tooth sensitivity. This small touch can help you find the glow in your smile and appreciate it better. It even makes you look healthier.
When necessary, do not hesitate to get braces, retainers, or other dental procedures that will contribute to your long-term oral health.
What Smiling Does for You
Self-confidence is one important reason for smiling more. But smiling is more potent than you think. It has some benefits that contribute to your health and self-esteem.
It relieves stress.
Not feeling so great? Force yourself to smile! The act of smiling triggers your brain to release happy neurotransmitters, namely dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These slow down heart and lower blood pressure.
Dopamine is the feel-good hormone, which is associated with doing activities that you enjoy. Serotonin, on the other hand, lifts the mood and is involved in doing daily activities. Lastly, endorphins are pain relievers that respond to stress.
In fact, go even further than smiling—laugh! Laughing is another activity that calms down feelings of stress and anxiety. It also increases dopamine and endorphins.
It is an easy anti-aging method.
Studies show that smiling makes a person look younger than they may actually be. When researchers showed photos of people smiling, their ages were estimated to be lower than the actual.
While smiling cannot change your physical makeup, people are more likely to perceive you as younger when you are smiling. This may be related to the illusion of wrinkles that smiling creates, which can be difficult to distinguish from actual wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. “Temporary” wrinkles can then produce less accurate age estimates.
It makes you more approachable.
Smiling also affects the people you’re with. Giving a smile to another person unconsciously encourages them to respond similarly. It takes more effort not to return a smile than to return it.
This happens because facial mimicry is a method by which people try to understand each other. Looking at another person gives an idea of what they may be feeling, which then brings you to simulate the same expression on your face. This simulation lets you recognize what the other person may be feeling.
When you smile at other people, it makes them want to smile back. People are more drawn to individuals who have a kind and welcoming aura. It seems that smiling can even help form new friendships.
Harnessing the Power of Your Smile
Knowing the little wonders that the simple act of smiling should be reason enough to smile more. But shyness is not the easiest struggle to overcome. The trick, really, is to try it anyway.
Even though your mind and heart may not feel up for a smile, trick your mind into feeling happier with one. Support your smile with good posture, too. Slouching makes you feel more sluggish, so partnering your smile with proper posture affects how you carry and perceive yourself while interacting with others.
Then, allow your state of mind to go to its happy places. When you’re sad or in a bad mood, remember the things that bring you joy and bring them out with a smile. You may even realize that once you’re smiling, whatever has got you down may not be so bad after all.
And practice smiling if you need to! By getting used to your own smile, you can slowly build confidence in your happy face.
Smiling is good for you and other people. The joy in your smile is contagious, so spread it!