Need a Mood Boost? Here’s How Smiling Can Help!
- Author Thomas Novak, Dds
- Published February 5, 2022
- Word count 513
Have you been feeling in a funk recently? Whether it’s because you’re stressed at work, dealing with pandemic fatigue, or just not feeling your best for an unknown reason, the last thing you want to hear is some generic advice like, “Turn your frown upside down!” However, recent research has shown that, although corny, there is some truth to that statement. To learn more about what the science says about happiness and smiling, as well as a few actionable tips to help, read on!
What the Science Says About Happiness and Smiling
According to years of research, there is no denying it: smiling causes a chemical reaction in your brain that can boost your mood. Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist, shared that this is largely due to the release of Dopamine and Serotonin. While low levels of these two chemicals are associated with depression and aggression, high levels boost our feelings of happiness and reduce our stress levels. Further research has found that the simple act of smiling can boost your immune system as well. So, it’s safe to say smiling is good for your mental, physical, and overall health!
Smiling and Mood Boosting in Action: 4 Helpful Tips
Now you may have one important question on your mind, “What if I don’t feel like smiling?” After all, when you aren’t feeling your best, smiling can feel disingenuous. Don’t worry – here are four tips to help:
• Fake it until you make it – In short, even if you don’t feel like smiling, try it out! According to an ENT-otolaryngologist, Dr. Murray Grossan, your brain will see the muscles associated with humor and happiness being activated and respond positively.
• Perfect your smile with cosmetic dentistry – If you are unhappy with your smile due to chips, stains, and other imperfections, you may shy away from smiling even when you are genuinely happy. Now that you know all about the benefits of smiling, don’t hesitate to talk to a cosmetic dentist about perfecting your teeth so you have a grin you’re proud to show off.
• Hang out with positive, happy people – Do you know that humans have a natural inclination to mirror each other? In fact, there are specific neurons that fire when we see an action, like yawning and smiling, causing us to do the same. So, make sure to surround yourself with happy, positive people. Their smiles and enthusiasm will be contagious, boosting your mood instantaneously.
• Watch shows that make you laugh – When you’re feeling sad, it can be tempting to listen to an emotional ballad or watch a movie that echoes your emotions. Instead, opt for upbeat music or a movie that always makes you laugh. Trying out a motivational podcast or watching a stand-up comedy routine may also do the trick!
Every now and again, it’s natural to feel down – it’s part of being human. However, that doesn’t mean you have to ride the emotion until it has run its course. Instead, take control. The best place to start? By smiling!
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