People say that it takes just 17 muscles to smile, and 43 to frown. Smiling makes a person healthier and less likely to grow old fast. And that simple gesture of parting your lips and flashing a big, candid sincere smile can give you top-to-toe benefits.
Smiling Improves Brain Activity
Every time a person smiles, neuropeptides are activated in the brain. These signaling molecules appear when one feels sad, happy, angry, depressed or excited, allowing neurons to communicate and facilitate messaging to the whole body. When a smile is flashed on a person’s face, positive hormones — dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin — are released, lowering the heart rate and blood pressure.
Smiling Gives You a Healthier Body
When one smiles, the whole world around him seems to light up, making him look more attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. On the other hand, when a person sees another person smiling, his orbitofrontal cortex gets activated, a brain region that processes sensory rewards. This means that when you see someone smiling, you would feel rewarded.
Smiling is Contagious
When a person smiles, he seems to emit a bright aura that could affect others that he could have eye contact with. Also, every time someone smiles at you, your brain urges you to return the favor, creating a mutual relationship that would allow you and the other person to release feel-good chemicals that could make you both look attractive and live healthier lives.
However, despite the known health benefits of smiling, some people are still quite apprehensive to flash that one smile. On the other hand, some people are just unable to smile, which may be due to some of the following physical, emotional or cultural reasons:
- When you smile at people, the very first thing they’ll notice are your front teeth. That’s why people who aren’t confident enough to show their teeth with dental conditions, tend to hold back their smile. Cope with the challenge with the help of an implant dentist and get your nicest smile flashing at everyone you meet.
- Another reason is Moebius Syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by partial facial paralysis. People with Moebius Syndrome can’t smile or frown, often cannot blink or move their eyes from side to side.
- Birth defects like cleft lip and cleft palate may contribute to emotional rather than physical reasons why some people don’t smile. Although people with this defect can freely smile, some prefer to hold it back instead, due to their insecurities and low self-esteem, and how others see more of their physical defect rather than their overall personality.
- Mental or emotional strain can give you an unhealthy and even ugly look. When you start to build up the tension, cortisol, the anxiety hormone, can overcome your attractiveness, increasing the glucose floating around your body while inhibiting muscle and bone growth.
- Cultural factors can account for some countries like Russia, where a smile is not considered as politeness but dishonesty, secrecy and feigning emotions. More so, in business meetings, one should not smile as this would signal disrespect to your colleagues. And whenever they smile, they prefer not to show their teeth otherwise, they would appear too vulgar, like a grinning horse.
There may be reasons for one not to smile, but there are even more reasons to look good and live a healthier life with just one sweet magical smile.