Today, October 1, 2021, is World Smile Day. Each year on the first day of October, celebrations are thrown around the world for grinning from ear to ear. Smiles are an international expression of happiness, joy, amusement, and kindness. For this reason, it makes sense that there is a holiday purely to celebrate smiling.
World Smile Day has a very interesting backstory. It began with a simple smiley face. Harvey Ball, an artist from Massachusetts, drew the original smiley face back in 1963. After the symbol started to become very commercialized, Harvey decided to bring it back down to earth by creating World Smile Day. World Smile Day is a day devoted to acts of kindness and service with the intent to make someone smile. Harvey Ball said it best when he said, “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile!”
Health Benefits Of Smiling
As a celebration of World Smile Day, let’s discuss the many health benefits of smiling.
Smiling Helps Decrease Stress
One of the first health benefits of smiling is that it decreases stress. When a person smiles, chemicals are activated in their brain that make them feel happy. Acting as innate antidepressants, serotonin and dopamine help people naturally feel happier and calmer.
Smiling Decreases Blood Pressure
Another great health benefit of smiling is lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is often caused by stress, so lower stress equals lower blood pressure. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Luckily, laughter increases your heart rate which increases the oxygen your body takes in. It is so important to smile because it is an easy way to lessen your blood pressure and chances of heart disease.
Smiling Decreases Pain
Smiling can also decrease pain. Have you ever noticed that if you have an injury and then a friend or family member makes a joke that makes you laugh, you forget about the pain for a moment? Smiling helps you forget pain but it also releases endorphins. Endorphins are another chemical that are unleashed when you smile and are the body’s natural pain killers. Endorphins can also be released when you exercise or do something that you love.
Smiling Helps With Social Interaction
Lastly, smiling is an indication of your social aptitude. When you smile in social situations or when meeting new people, it helps people feel at ease and more comfortable. Smiles make people seem more approachable and also are an indication to others that you are interested in hearing what they have to say. The reason why this is a health benefit is because social interaction is an important part of mental health. Having connections and interactions with friends and family can help you feel supported, heard, seen and give you a sense of belonging. Relationships can also give you a sense of meaning and purpose which is also an important part to feeling happy.
Let Us Help Protect Your Smile
Here at Henderson Family Dental, “you can have a smile you’ll smile about!” We are passionate about helping individuals and families have the best possible smile that they can. If you have had issues with your teeth that you want to get fixed or are needing new dental services, we are here for you. We have many services available to help you keep your smile pristine. Contact us today for more information.