It’s a very common notion that every smile is precious and special, but one could easily tag that as a childish sentiment. However, the truth is very different. Even though people tend to underestimate and ignore smiles, ‘saying cheese’ is indeed precious and important. While it might not exactly be true that it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown as you might have often heard, there are a lot of known and unknown special facts about smiling that might inspire you to smile more.
Here are 15 such interesting world and health facts about this common facial expression
Smiling is the universal sign for happiness
As obvious as it seems that smiling would be the universal sign of happiness, taking into account the innumerable different cultures and languages in the human race, it’s very astonishing that smiling is the universal way of expressing happiness irrespective of civilized or uncivilized cultures. Even some animals are able to recognize smiling as an expression of happiness, so keep smiling.
Smiling can help boost your mood
Even though it sounds unreasonable to smile when upset, if you make an attempt to smile or laugh when you’re in bad mood, it has the capacity to genuinely boost your mood and give you the strength required to get through whatever is bothering you. Smiling induces your body to release endorphins which uplift your mood and make you feel better instantly. Whether its a genuine smile induced by looking at a beautiful belladonna flower or just by you forcing yourself to smile, both have a positive effect on your mood.
Smiles Relieve Stress
The same endorphins that uplift your mood when you smile, are responsible for reducing your stress. Smiling induces a range of positive emotions which in turn has a positive effect on your stress by reducing the body’s stress response.
It’s easier to smile than to frown
While researchers don’t exactly agree on the exact number of muscles needed to smile or frown, it’s still quite well established that it’s easier to smile than to frown even if it uses more muscles. This is because the body has worked the muscles required to smile more than the ones required to frown and hence its easier to smile than to be grouchy.
Babies are born with the ability to smile
Did you know that smiling is the first expression of a baby because it starts smiling even in the womb? Hence, even though babies have to learn most of their behaviours from the people around them, even blind babies are born with the inherent ability to express their joy through smiles.
It boosts your immune system
Since physical health is directly related to mental health, smiling is an expression of happiness, is a way to staying mentally healthy and hence keeping your body and immune system strong by decreasing cortisol in your body. This translates into helping you live up to 7 years longer.
Women smile more than men
Researchers have proven not only do women smile significantly more than men, but they also hold their smile for longer as compared to men. Even baby girls smile more than baby boys.
There are 19 different types of smiles
UC San Francisco researcher Paul Ekman and his colleagues identified 19 different types of smiles, putting them into two categories: Polite “social” smiles which use fewer muscles, and genuine, happy “felt” smiles which also used the muscles around the eyes. Ranging in between is the “embarrassed”, “genuine”, “loving” among other smiles.
Smiles are more attractive than makeup
A research study conducted by Orbit Complete, a gum for improves dental health, discovered that 69% of people and even men in specific find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup but are stone-faced.
Children Tend to Smile More Than Adults
While children smile up to 400 times a day, adults smile only up to 20 times a day. This is probably due to the lower inhibitions and responsibilities of children as compared to the maturity and mammoth responsibilities that adults have to shoulder.
Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expression
People can recognize smiles from up to 300 feet away, which developed out of a need to be able to distinguish friend from foe, making it the most easily recognizable facial expression. You could be in your hometown or halfway around the world, a smile is universally recognized and appreciated.
Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles
Depending on the sort of smile, smiles can need your body to use from 5 muscles to 53 muscles. So use it as an exercise and workout those facial muscles by smiling more.
Smiling can reduce blood pressure
By releasing endorphins, decreasing cortisol and hence stress, smiling can effectively positively affect your heart and hence keep your blood pressure under control. By just elevating your mood, smiles can improve your mental and hence physical health, essentially saving lives on the way.
Smiling helps you get promoted
People who always smile, not only come off as sociable, friendlier and more approachable but also exude confidence in their own abilities by smiling even in the face of challenges and stress. All these attributes are obviously key to moving up the corporate ladder and hence smiling increases your chances of getting promoted.
There is a day designated as World Smile Day
Every year, the first Friday in the month of October is celebrated as the World Smile Day. The idea was coined and initiated by the creator of the first Smiley Face, Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts. So take his initiative further and keep smiling!
So fret not, even if you have a chipped or crooked tooth and have been longing for a beautiful smile, there’s no longer a need to be afraid of dental procedures. These treatments can now be made painless with the help of dental sedation.
What are you waiting for, start smiling!