It is reported that on average in the UK, an adult smiles 11 times a day making that a colossal 232,000 smiles over the course of a lifetime. We smile when the sun shines, hearing a baby laugh, when we have sole possession of the remote control for the television, when online deliveries arrive when expected, receiving compliments, reminiscing about happier times, looking at old photos, receiving a hug and having a good hair day. There seem to be a million different scenarios that elicit a smile.
Smiling is simply a biological reflex yet the consequences triggered by this pivotal human gesture are far reaching and not to be ignored. The effects of smiling on oneself and others are why so many researchers have devoted countless hours to the study of it. We are interested in knowing what the characteristics are of a great smile, how others form assumptions about us based on whether we smile or not, and is it really true that a warm smile can be considered a personal asset.
A person who loves the look of their smile is also more inclined to protect that smile. The most effective way to always ensure you smile your best smile is to be proactive about dental health and keep to routine professional check-ups scheduled at the dentist St John’s Wood. A dazzling smile needs teeth and gums to be in a healthy condition so all those dentist-approved oral care guidelines apply.
How does smiling benefit us?
Smiling helps us connect with others, and this, in turn, benefits us, because as humans we are hardwired to thrive on social contact. We need contact with others to cope in every stage of life, from the moment we enter the world to our autumn years. We navigate through these stages better when we have good quality loving relationships with family and friends.
In first forming social bonds, we need to be perceived as approachable, friendly and trustworthy, where we do not pose a threat or danger and a smile is one of the most common ways to convince someone of this.
We are drawn to those who smile as a smile signals that we are accepted and approved of. Smiles also make us more attractive to others. A person deemed physically attractive stands a better chance of benefitting from opportunities than someone who is found to be less attractive. We refer to this as cognitive bias as we associate a whole host of desirable positive attributes to those we find good looking. The list of these personality traits includes being kind and compassionate, friendly, intelligent, trustworthy and having strong leadership potential.
Smiling has a positive effect on health and longevity. The cardiovascular and the immune system are two wonderful examples of biological systems in the human body that directly benefit from smiling. With smiling, even a fake or forced one prompts the brain to release more of the so-called feel-good chemicals (endorphins, serotonin) that help lower stress and boost mood. Reduced stress levels work towards heart health and aid the body to better fight off disease and illness.
In considering the number of benefits we get from smiling, it can easily be seen why some regard the warm smile as a magic potion to a happier and healthier life.