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The Extraordinary Power of the Smile – a practical exercise

Posted on by Wayne Holness

Spring’s round the corner (subject to climate change of course). And as the weather improves, spirits generally rise along with optimism. And people smile more often on streets and in workplaces; very nice after such a teeth-clenchingly grim winter. Well, actually smiling is nicer than just an expression of pleasure. Far nicer. That simple (for some) facial expression has the most extraordinary and immediate benefits for our physical and mental well-being.

Let’s skip swiftly and cheerily through just a couple of practical reasons why – and all based on authoritative research. But before we do, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a dentist and what makes me smile a lot is when my patients benefit from their own winning smiles. And happy smiles are based on handsomely healthy teeth.

Now are you ready? Okay, let’s start by smiling. Go on, you might not feel like it, but wait till you read what happens when you do.

That smile you’re projecting at this very moment is releasing endorphins that automatically help reduce stress and are simply making you feel happier. And with good reason because your smile is also producing white blood cells that help combat minor ailments.

Your smile makes you socially more attractive and approachable. Proof? Well, just look at gloomy or frowning people and think how unapproachable they make themselves. And research confirms that people who smile are considered more trustworthy than glum folk, more successful too.

A word of caution. I had a patient, a very senior businessman, who smiled a lot, but his mouth was a disaster area: teeth like broken flagstones. His colleagues never allowed him within sight, let alone breathing distance of the company’s clients. So they sent him to see me and happily I was able to repair the damage of years of neglect and create a beautiful set of his own teeth. He’s now in the customer-contact advance guard and wisely keeps brushes and toothpaste in his office drawer. He’s a happily smiling, confident and popular man.

I wish you all the same along with a beaming springtime.

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