We’re a friendly bunch, Canadians. We like to smile and help each other out. But did you know that flashing your pearly whites can actually have a mood boosting effect and help you form genuine connections with people? Here’s why:
A Natural Anti-Depressant
When you smile, neuropeptides in your brain are released, which encourages dopamine, endorphins and serotonin to circulate throughout your body, all chemicals we associate with feeling happy and satisfied. Endorphins are a natural painkiller and serotonin has anti-depressant properties.
Not only do these lift your mood, but they decrease your heart rate and blood pressure…all without medication! This means that when you smile, you’re not just brightening your outlook, you’re taking care of your body too.
Smiling Makes You More Approachable
Studies have also shown that smiling helps people form opinions about you. People who smile easily and frequently are branded as more relaxed, reliable and approachable. Why is this? It’s been suggested that when someone sees you smile, it activates a portion of the brain that processes awards. It also triggers a part of the cortex that deals with automatic responses. That’s why when you see someone smile, you automatically feel like smiling back in return.
Smiling is a universal expression, transcending all types of barriers, whether they’re cultural or generational.
The bottom line: Smiling is not only good for your mental and physical health, but it’s a way of showing people that you’re approachable, relaxed and competent. And isn’t that how we want to feel all the time?