Think of the word “happy,” and one of the first things that comes to mind is that age-old, international sign of happiness: The smile.
So when you wish someone a “Happy New Year,” you’re essentially wishing them – what? – a year of smiles! So sweet.
But have you ever thought of this? If you are among the millions of people who made one or more New Year’s resolutions for 2014…all of which are linked to furthering your own happiness…your goal comes down to this: smiling more. And the scientific truth is that smiling more, every step of the way, will help you accomplish whatever you’re after…whether it’s health-, job-, or relationship-related.
- Smiling relieves stress. It reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and gives you a quick burst of energy. This can counteract some of the physical reactions of stress including increasing blood sugar levels, disturbing the natural function of the digestive system, and increasing pulse rate.
- Smiling lowers blood pressure. When you smile, your blood pressure increases briefly before dropping to below-normal levels. Since your breathing increases during this process, it allows more oxygen and nutrients to flow, causing your blood pressure to decrease.
- Smiling improves the immune system. Since stress hormones decrease when you smile, certain antibodies or immune cells increase, helping your body fight off illnesses like the common cold.
- Smiling increases longevity. It’s true. People who smile more live longer; 7 years longer according to one study.
- Smiling increases productivity. Research has shown that we work more efficiently and faster when we are smiling while performing work tasks. There is truth to the “whistle while you work” adage!
- Smiling can make you more successful. Those who smile more are more likely to earn more money through tips and raises. They are also more readily approached with business ideas and offered advancements.
It’s no wonder that 75% of adults think an attractive smile is important for workplace success (a Harris Interactive Poll).
- Smiling is not only contagious, it makes you more attractive. Studies have shown that people are drawn to others who smile and believe that people with good teeth are more approachable, healthier, and better looking.
- Smiling makes you look younger. Smiles lift the face, subtracting an average of three years from a person’s real age.
Science has shown that smiling is important in so many arenas, but a healthy, straight, and white smile is also critical for your health, self-esteem, and success.
You know the benefits of smiling, so, please, don’t let the condition of your teeth stand in your way. To achieve and maintain yours, visit your dental health care professional regularly and take the time to care for your oral hygiene. Have a happy AND healthy start to the year!
How else will a healthy smile help you in the new year? Let us know in your comments below!