Much More Than a Facial Expression: The Power of a Smile
Good communication is the foundation of successful relationships, both personally and professionally. But, we communicate with much more than words. In fact, research shows that over 80% of all human interaction is nonverbal.
The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication is a powerful tool that helps us connect with others and build better relationships. Every look, every gesture, every twitch of an eyebrow communicates an inaudible message. Our posture, eye contact and hand movements all play an important role in nonverbal communication, but one of the most significant ways we communicate with others is with our smile.
A smile is part of a universal language. The author and world-renowned photographer, Elan Sun Star writes, “A smile, like a picture, is a universal language that transcends not only every cultural boundary but also every conceptual boundary. No matter what village or town or city you go to, a smile means the same thing regardless of your age, culture, ethnicity, financial status, faith, or nationality. A smile is a smile is a smile, and a smile by any other name looks the same. It comes from the heart; thus there are no misinterpretations. Innately, we know that we are all in this together by smiling, we can unleash powerful forces from within.”
A smile can diffuse a contentious misunderstanding, prevent arguments, and help us navigate a challenging situation, comfort a frightened child or lonely person. It allows us to positively respond to others in our environment and signal that we welcome them. It indicates that we are receptive and open. It can change our mood and help us in your daily personal life. It’s free, effortless, powerful and contagious!
Smiling for your health
There are tremendous health benefits to smiling. Scientific evidence suggests that smiling creates a biochemical response, activating neuro-hormones, endorphins and nitric oxide to make us feel great. Endorphins are chemicals produced by our bodies that act as natural pain relievers, similar to opiates, and can help reduce physical and emotional pain and stress while increasing our sense of well-being.
According to Mark Stibich, a consultant at Columbia University, and contributor to a Guide to Longevity at about.com —Smiling:
Boosts the Immune System. Smiling can actually stimulate your immune response by helping you relax.
Lowers Blood Pressure. When you smile, there is evidence that your blood pressure can decrease.
Releases Endorphins and Serotonin. Research has reported that smiling releases endorphins, which are natural pain relievers, along with serotonin, which is also associated with feel good properties.
Dr. Rollin McCarthy, Ph.D., the Institute of Heartmath’s Executive Vice President and Director of Research states: “The science shows that by consciously cultivating a smile—both on your face and in your heart—you can take a proactive role in creating your own health, happiness, and fulfillment, while positively affecting others and your environment”.
A great smile is always in style
According to new research from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), consumers say they would pay to fix their teeth before they would pay for weight loss help. Of the 80 percent of American adults who in a recent poll admitted they would spend money to hide or correct aging flaws, 62 percent said they would pay to fix the quality of their teeth, compared with 48 percent who said they would invest in weight loss help. Women are more likely than men to invest in such improvements (84 percent versus 75 percent).
Nearly half (45 percent) of Americans think a person’s smile can defy aging’s effects while eyes come in a distant second (34 percent).
Perhaps speaking from experience, 54 percent of Americans over 50 attest that a smile can overcome decades of birthdays.
“A great smile is always in style, and these results prove it,” said AACD President Dr. Ron Goodlin.
It’s easy to see what you would look like with a new smile
We have new digital software that lets patients see what they could look like before they have any cosmetic treatment done. It only takes a few minutes to do a smile simulation and it’s free. See an example below.