Fake It Until You Make It - How Smiling Can Make You Feel Happier

man with forced smile

We’ve all heard the saying “fake it until you make it.” It turns out, this could be really great advice. Researchers have found that the simple act of smiling- even a fake smile- can bring about feelings of happiness and reduce stress.

New York-based neurologist, Dr. Isha Gupta claims that the mere act of smiling can increase levels of dopamine and serotonin, our body’s feel-good hormones. Dopamine, when released in the body, increases feelings of happiness and Serotonin is connected to our stress levels. Low levels of serotonin in the body can cause feelings of depression and aggression, whereas higher levels can help bring about a sense of happiness and well-being.

More recently, researchers from the University of South Australia have studied the link between the effects of smiling and a person’s mood and mental health. A smile, even a fake one, can essentially trick your brain into thinking you are happy. Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, the study author, explained that when your muscles convey that you are happy, it affects the way you perceive the world around you. Basically, if your muscles say you are happy, you will see the world around you in a more positive light.

The study at the University of South Australia found that facial muscular activity not only changed a person’s expression but also generated more positive emotions. Muscle movements required to smile, stimulate the part of your brain that allows you to feel emotions – the amygdala. If a smile can release more feel-good hormones, then it follows that simply smiling is a great way to get a lift throughout the day!

We, at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, know that just plastering on a smile won’t change life’s circumstances and won’t take away the world’s problems. But, if a smile- even a fake one- can elevate the moods of the person smiling and the person receiving the smile, wouldn’t it be worth it to smile a little more often? It could really be that easy to pass on a bit of happiness throughout the day.

Try it today. It’s free. It’s easy. And we bet if you share a smile, you will probably get one back in return! And according to the research, you might feel a little happier, too!

That is definitely, Something to Smile About!




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