Advertisements for dental clinics constantly remind us to have a beautiful smile . But the benefits of a smile go far beyond the physical aspect.
While having a sense of humor helps us to connect with others, have a greater connection with other individuals, cope with stress and even improve memory as we explain in our article “The 9 benefits of having a sense of humor”, the smile, as a visible part of our face and at the same time pleasant, also provides a number of psychological, social and health benefits.
In this article we will look at these benefits and explore why we should smile whenever we can.
What are the benefits of smiling
Smiling may seem like an involuntary response to something that is funny or makes us feel good; however, it is much more than that. We all smile several times a day, something that is intimately related to happiness. You may have noticed that when someone else smiles, their expression is much more pleasant and inspires greater confidence.
You probably remember those people who always have a smile on their face, something that makes them look younger. But, have you ever thought about what benefits a smile brings? In the following lines of this article you can find the answers to this question.
1. It is associated with the charism
The smile has a great power of attraction towards the people around us. In fact, you will surely remember better those individuals who show a great smile, because you will perceive them as closer, more pleasant and this makes you trust them more. That is why people who smile more often are often seen as more charismatic.
In addition, charismatic people have a number of traits and carry out characteristic habits.
- If you want to know more about this, you can read our article: “Charismatic personality: 14 traits and habits”
2. Inspires greater confidence
Scientific studies have proven that when the people we interact with smile genuinely, we trust them more. Trust is an important part of interpersonal relationships , whether they are loved ones, simple acquaintances or people we meet for the first time. Smiling attracts our surroundings and allows us to create a closer connection with the other person.
3. Increases credibility
The smile is also a useful communicative resource if we want to increase our image of credibility ; however, when it does not fit the context it can produce the opposite effect. According to research from the University of Pittsburgh, people who smile more are not only more trustworthy, but they also show a more credible image.
4. Makes you more accessible
Trust makes us more accessible, which improves our interpersonal relationships. According to scientific studies, people are more willing to commit themselves socially with other people if they smile n . A smile has a great power of attraction, and this facial expression makes other people feel comfortable with us. It facilitates communication.
5. It is contagious
Scientific studies have found evidence that smiling is contagious , so it is necessary in relationships with others. This has to do with mirror neurons, which are key in learning, especially in the case of modelling. Smiling, therefore, can make other people smile, which means that they also benefit from the points made in this article.
6. Releases pleasure-related substances
The smile seems to be important to activate some brain areas related to pleasant behaviors, such as the ventral tegmental area. The ventral tegmental area has been key to the survival of the species, since it helps to repeat the behaviors that we find pleasant. This is mainly due to substances such as endorphins, which are natural analgesics.
7. Increases happiness
A much-discussed theory, known as the facial feedback hypothesis, states that smiling is key to increasing happiness . This is because it stimulates the brain and also releases endorphins and facilitates the synthesis of other happiness related substances such as serotonin.
According to the previous theory, the smile makes the body feel calmer and more relaxed . This helps to release tension from the body and also reduces blood pressure. In this sense, some sources seem to conclude that people who smile more are less likely to suffer a heart attack or other cardiovascular problems.
9. Increases life expectancy
Scientific studies have also found a link between smiles and life expectancy. Research conducted by Wayne State University in Michigan (United States), in 2010, states that people who smile more live longer . Other studies claim that smiling makes us look younger.
10. Makes you feel less stressed
The smile could indirectly contribute to reduce stress levels . As mentioned above, it could activate the brain regions related to pleasure and, likewise, help to synthesize happiness chemicals. This can be a great resource in stressful situations.
11. Makes you more attractive
Without a doubt, the smile makes us more attractive. If one of the previous points referred to smiling as a key feature of charismatic people, it also favors physical attractiveness.
12. It’s free
In a world where almost everything costs money, smiling is free . So you can smile all you want and benefit from the above points without spending money. There is no excuse for not smiling.