5 Things Your Smile Is Saying About You
Even if You’re Not Aware
“When you’re smiling the whole world smiles with you.” That’s a lyric from a song popularized by Louis Armstrong in the 1930s. But truer words may never have been spoken. A smile is more than just a constriction of facial muscles. It’s a way to convey feeling and mood. And it’s something that’s understood by everyone in the world, including babies who haven’t mastered a language.
Because a smile is so important to humans, it’s important to know what a smile can say about us.
A Smile Says You’re Approachable
We live in a day and age where everyone’s defenses are up. And this may be understandable considering the state of our world. Indeed, we’ve emerged from a global pandemic that’s unfortunately killed millions. But as our protective masks come off and we slowly get back to normal, we’re wanting to go out, meet new people and make friends. Nothing says you’re approachable and open to meeting others more than a smile.
And for those of us who are self-conscious about our smiles, there are always options in the form of dental veneers (customizable and removable), aligners, and whiteners.
A Smile Says You’re In a Good Mood
Moods are funny. They come and go and change about as often as we change our minds. But it’s nearly impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re smiling. In fact, studies have shown that smiling can actually trick our brains into thinking we’re happy. Basically, a smile evokes a chemical reaction in our brains releasing certain hormones, including dopamine and serotonin.
Dopamine awakens our “happy feelings,” while serotonin reduces our stress. In combination, both brain chemicals help regulate everything from muscle movement to digestion.
Smiling Says You’re Smart? Well, at Least People Think You Are
Although there’s no direct correlation between how often we smile and how intelligent we are, a study showed that a smiling face is perceived as more intelligent than one that isn’t. According to researchers, what causes this is the “halo effect.” Because people associate genuine smiles with warmness and likeability, they also associate them with unrelated positive attributes like intelligence.
Interestingly, the study found that men were judged more accurately than women. Researchers concluded this was probably because women are more often judged on their appearance.
Smiling Says You’re Healthy
A smile gives the impression of general well-being and good physical health. Believe it or not, the length of people’s lives has been predicted from photographs of them in their youth. Those who were pictured with genuine smiles lived longer than those with polite smiles or no smile at all. The association is linked to an aspect of our psychology called “positive effect.” It means you live a longer and healthier life by virtue of being cheerful and optimistic. Overall health refers to your:
- Mental well-being
- Physical well-being
- Emotional well-being
A Smile Says You’re Kind
Mean-spirited and angry people seem to be everywhere today, but If there’s one thing the world needs more of it is kind people. Smiling conveys to others that you accept them. It says that you’re open to listening to them and to helping them if they need it. This is one reason why store clerks and waitstaff are trained to smile at customers. The goal is to create a kind and friendly atmosphere through smiling.
Although kindness can be shown in many ways, perhaps there is no better way to show it than with a smile.
We all know how we feel when we smile and how it feels when we’re on the receiving end of a smile. What we may not have been aware of is what our smile is saying about us. There really is nothing negative about a smile. A smile shows that we’re open and approachable, healthy, in good spirits, and even makes us look smarter. With all the positives that go along with a genuine smile, who wouldn’t want to do it?