A smile is a powerful thing, as it releases feel good chemicals that help to produce positive emotions, even when you may initially feel a little down. A study has shown that smiling during a stressful situation reduces your heart rate because it boosts feelings of happiness, even when the smile isn’t initially genuine. It’s believed that when you force a smile, it boosts levels of serotonin, and it creates a chemical reaction in your brain producing dopamine. Low levels of dopamine are associated with depression while having higher levels of this neurotransmitter helps increase feelings of happiness. It’s also thought that smiling could improve pain tolerance as some experimental studies have shown people who laugh are better able to withstand pain.
People who suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD will know this causes an increase in irritability, depression and a general lack of energy. One of the most popular ways to treat SAD is with light therapy, using lights that mimic natural sunlight, but smiling could help too. If you feel depressed on gloomy days, smiling can boost endorphin and serotonin production, helping to remove more positive emotions.
Do you feel less than confident about your grin? Come and see us here at ICON Dental & Cosmetic Centre. We can talk to you about various ways to improve the appearance of your teeth, so you feel more able to smile freely.