“A smile is your greatest social asset.”- Zig Ziglar
A smile is one of the most universal expressions of happiness, friendliness and affection, and it’s also one of the first things people notice about someone else. That’s why your smile is your most valuable asset – it conveys who you are to others before they even have a chance to speak to you. But the benefits of smiling don’t stop at what your smile can do for others. It turns out that smiling has health benefits as well. Let’s take a look:
The Perception of Your Smile is Important
Genuine smiles convey an openness to interact as well as a level of friendliness. Within your career, smiling can show confidence and reliability to your boss as well as coworkers. People usually recognize smiles faster than any other facial feature. Science says a nice smile actually helps you stand out from the crowd:
A study conducted by Mila Mileva at the University of New York explored this idea further. She found that people participating in the study had an easier time matching images of the same person who was smiling, as opposed to having a neutral facial expression. These results also increased when participants were asked to distinguish between two similar looking people who were both smiling. This further proves that people analyze and remember a smile of a person they meet more than any other identifying feature.
There’s no shortage of studies on the psychology of perception and facial expressions, and many clinical studies have co-confirmed a correlation with smiling and other people perceiving you positively. Data indicates that smiling makes you seem:
Reads a bit like criteria for a job interview or a dating app profile, no?
Health Benefits of Smiling
There’s a lot of science to back the claim that smiling is good for your health. Just some of the things clinical research suggests include:
- Smiling helps you live longer.
- One study showed a correlation between intense smiling and longer lifespan. A correlating study linked happiness to well-being and longevity.
- Smiling reduces stress.
- Studies indicate that smiling can lower your heart rate in a stressful situation.
- Smiling improves your mood.
- Because smiling acts directly on your central nervous system, endorphins and neurotransmitters are released that promote calm, positive mood.
- Smiling boosts immunity.
- Data suggests that stress reduction and positive affect from smiling helps your immune system by freeing it up for things more important than dealing with stress.
- Smiling is a painkiller.
- The release of serotonin, endorphins and neuropeptides has an analgesic effect on the body.
Other things to consider are quality of life factors. Crooked, missing, decayed, or crowded teeth pose more health risks and can make biting, chewing and even speaking difficult. A healthy smile is easier to maintain and better for the health of your face and jaw.
If you want to know more health benefits from smiling, check out our article, What are the Benefits of Smiling and Laughing?
Can Smiling Benefit Your Career?
Relationship building develops over time, however, having a positive first impression can go a long way. A study done by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry shows that 50 percent of interviewees will remember your smile vs what you wore.
It has also been shown that the confidence that comes from a nice smile leads to more job offers. You don’t need to have perfect teeth to smile. Most aspects of seeming approachable are all about confidence within that first impression with somebody. Though, you’ll need to feel confident in your smile first to pull this off!
The next time you’re feeling down or find yourself in a challenging situation, remember your smile; it may be your most valuable asset. A smile has the power to change not only your mood, but also the mood of those around you. When it comes to relationship building and first impressions, it can make all the difference in the world. So don’t forget to flash those pearly whites – they could help you more than you think!