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Why We Smile

There is no more universal language than a bright smile.

From grandchildren to grandparents, we all use a good smile to communicate to others, no matter where and who we are. It seems as if we were born smiling, but why do we naturally smile and is this a learned behavior? Is there a science behind this facial expression?

According to scientist and winner of FameLab in Hong Kong, Ding Li believes that "when our brains feel happy, endorphins are produced and neuronal signals are transmitted to your facial muscles to trigger a smile. This is the start of the positive feedback loop of happiness. When our smiling muscles contract, they fire a signal back to the brain, stimulating our reward system, and further increasing our level of happy hormones, or endorphins. In short, when our brain feels happy, we smile; when we smile, our brain feels happier."

Smiling is more than just a chemical reaction.

Scientists such as Ding Li claim that there is a reason behind it. Research shows that smiling is not only contagious, but it can also reduce stress and anxiety, which can in turn lengthen our lives. It may come as no surprise that smiling instantaneously makes a person more attractive to others. Perhaps that is why so many people around the world have been taking care of their mouths and teeth for decades. With an array of treatments, patients are able to achieve perfectly arranged pearly whites at an increasingly more attainable cost.

But smiling is not solely a human pleasure.

In fact, research shows that for centuries, scientists have underestimated the emotional range of animals. From anger to joy to sadness, some animals, especially domesticated dogs and cats, are able to display an array of emotions.

Smiling brightens our day and the day of those around us.

It's a powerful tool to transform your life and even impact your immediate community. As Vietnamese Monk and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh once said, "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

So make sure you take good care of your teeth and that you display them often for the world to see. Have a happy day and make sure you share the joy: smiling is free!


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