Content by: Deanna Niceski - Accredited Exercise Physiologist
How many muscles does it take to smile? 17, 26? Unfortunately, this fun fact has so many different answers, why, because ‘one person’s smile, is another’s smirk’. Like a fingerprint we all have our own unique style and way we show off our pearly whites. So, the answer to that question is inconclusive, but what we do know is there are less muscles used when smiling compared to frowning. So, turn that frown upside down and enjoy these surprising benefits of smiling.
THE 8 GREAT POWERS OF YOUR SMILE
1. It reduces stress
Smiling through the tough times does your body good and aids in stress recovery and heart health.
2. It impacts your feelings
Smiling triggers those happy hormones and releases a general sense of well-being. Our mood elevates as this physical behaviour seeps into how we actually feel.
3. When you smile you influence others
Want to know why so many people around you are smiling and positive? Check your face. Smiling is the universal language and is highly contagious. We can’t help but mimic this body language from others so why not start an epidemic and cause a smile revolution.
4. Smiling is better than chocolate
I am as shocked as what you are. Who would have thought smiling from ear to ear induces more pleasure in the brain then delicious chocolate? British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate.
5. Smiling is linked to a longer life
Abel and Kruger rated smiles of professional baseball players from a 1952 yearbook and found that those who smiled intensely lived longer. Don’t underestimate the value of a smile.
6. Smiling makes you more attractive
Naturally we are all drawn to smiles. Part of your frontal lobe (front lobe of your brain) lights up like a Christmas tree when you focus on a smile, as it’s perceived as more attractive, charming and alluring. An inexpensive way to improve your looks.
7. Retrains your body for better habitual smiling
Create a ‘smile habit’. Smiling in situations we don’t normally smile in (when we wake up or in meetings) can create positive habitual change. Developing this practice can help with raising your social and emotional intelligence and improve your mood.
8. Even a forced one can help
‘Fake it, till you make it’. Even pasting a bogus smile on your face can improve your mood and confidence. "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Remember, you are never fully dressed without your smile, so show off your unique grin to the world and embrace the gains associated with smiling.
“Your simplest expression is beautifully complex”