Happiness And Your Smile – Why Do We Smile So Much?
You know a smile can change your life. You feel better instantly when you smile. When you smile, oxygen and blood flow to your face increase. While reducing stress-eliminating hormones, such as cortisol, which can raise blood pressure, smiling actually lowers it. And smiling has even been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The reason behind smiling is the so-called “smile secret.” A lot of people still don’t know about this secret, but have you ever considered that maybe your smile isn’t all that it could be because it isn’t as big or strong as you think it is? Here’s what I found out.
It seems that our facial expressions have a lot more to do with our happiness than we think. Our smiles are expressions of our innermost emotions, not only of ourselves, but also of others. Our faces convey a lot more than just our smiles to others; our facial expressions have meaning and can influence our choice in many situations. Whether we realize it or not, the way we hold ourselves, our facial expressions, our body language, even how we mingle with others all have a lot to do with how happy we are.
Research from the University of Michigan suggests that smiling is a unique activity that differs from other forms of physical expression. When you smile, your muscles become tensed up and your facial expression becomes more contorted than when you don’t smile. When you smile, your facial muscles relax and become more relaxed. Your facial muscles relax and your lips and your mouth, your cheeks and your tongue, and your jaw, pull down on your cheeks and pull your lower jaw forward.
Smiles are different for different people. Some people smile at their own reflection in the mirror, some people smile at others, and others still smile at a stranger. The University of Michigan researchers found that children who smile more frequently have higher grades in school, and they also had higher self esteem. Smiles cause your body to release natural pain and relaxation chemicals. Your body releases these chemicals as a signal that there is something rewarding about smiling, and this helps to build your confidence, which in turn is linked with greater happiness and less stress.
So, the next time you find yourself smiling, take note of what’s going on in your facial expressions. Notice whether there is anything funny, inappropriate, or unhappy about your smile. If you notice any negative or unhappy facial expressions, immediately look away and then replace your smile with a genuine, affirmative smile. Your body language will immediately change, and you will smile bigger, better, and happier!