Ever notice when you are feeling down your face tends to show it? Have others noticed and maybe suggested you smile? As annoying as it can be at the time, they are usually right. This suggestion is proven to be helpful in a multitude of ways; smiling, specifically, has been proven to make you feel better instantly, and the more you show those pearly whites, the better you feel, and the higher your self-esteem gets over time, in addition to lessening stress and boosting your mood.
How can the act of smiling, even if it isn’t genuine, boost your self-esteem? It seems like this theory could be a little bit backwards, huh? According to neurologist Dr. Isha Gupta, the act of smiling actually releases a few chemicals in your body, called dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals are your naturally occurring “feel good hormones” that can make us feel happier and reduce stress levels.
Did you know it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown?
When you’re smiling, your brain registers the facial movements and assumes that a happy or fun event is happening. Your brain just enjoys the act of smiling, regardless of whether it is genuine or not. The act of smiling uses only twelve facial muscles, while the act of frowning uses 113, in addition to all the positive side effects using those twelve muscles can have on your mental health and how it can boost your self-esteem.
Over time, smiling when you feel down or maybe don’t feel like smiling at all is one of the best ways to combat unfortunate circumstances and sour moods. After a while of “faking it till you make it”, you will naturally respond by smiling, and automatically fighting off a bad mood or making the best of a situation. This will lead to elevated levels of happiness, which will keep you from feeling drained of energy, keep your stress levels lower, and attract others who also want to maintain a positive outlook. All of these factors reflect your self-esteem greatly, especially if the actions are prolonged or continued for long periods of time.
Just like we assume our smiling comes from our brain experiencing an ideal event, we assume that our actions are a direct reflection of our self-esteem. While both of these are true, there are exceptions to each. As mentioned above, your brain registers your face smiling and automatically feels happier, not only the other way around, and the same goes for self-esteem; the way we feel about ourselves is a direct reflection of the actions we take.
Challenge yourself to step back from a frustrating situation or bad mood today, and remember all of the benefits of cracking a smile! To keep your teeth looking great and feeling great, visit Mountain View Dental and their comfortable and professional office or call with questions or to schedule an appointment.