People can usually spot a fake smile—but when you create a fake smile, your brain doesn’t recognize the difference between this and an authentic smile on your face. This means that you have the ability to reduce stress, boost your immune system, and release endorphins all while faking a smile! When you’re in a stressful situation, here’s why you should give smile therapy a try.
The Power of Smile Therapy
Smile therapy is an effective technique that tricks your brain into thinking that you’re happy or that something is funny. This creates more endorphins (chemicals released from the pituitary gland responsible for making you happy) and thus, happiness. This often leads to genuine smiles as well, but a real smile or a fake smile doesn’t matter to your brain—it’s the actual muscles in your face that trigger a response from your brain chemicals to increase happiness. Not only does this make you cheerier, but it also helps improve your health.
Show Some Teeth
Showing your teeth in the form of a smile can actually improve the positivity you experience, regardless of whether or not you’re experiencing positivity at the time. Smiling while experiencing stress—especially when first feeling stress—can inhibit your body’s reaction to the stress whether or not you actually feel good. Therefore, the simple action of smiling can actually combat stress and improve your immune system as well as change your mood. Smiling also makes you more attractive and is contagious! Watch others smile when you flash some teeth their way.
Increase Positive Experiences
Smiling can also trigger your brain to perceive things as funnier than they really are. When you’re not smiling, something may not seem amusing or funny. Try experiencing the same thing again with a smile on your face. Chances are you’ll react differently. By employing the muscles in your face that are responsible for smiling, you can prompt your brain to believe that something is funny or is making you happy, which in turn increases your mood and can lower stress levels. Since stress can hinder the immune system, doing away with stress can help improve your body’s immune function.
Smile therapy may sound like a trick, which it essentially is—on your brain! However, research has proven this theory true time and again. By faking a smile, you can actually make a difference for your mood in addition to reducing your stress and being more appealing to other people.
Are you self-conscious about your smile? Schedule an appointment with your dentist to see what he or she can do. It’s never too late to get your dream smile to practice some smile therapy on yourself and on others to feel better!