By Maddie Smith
“Life is short; smile while you still have teeth.” This is something we have heard, but do we really follow this wise advice? The first facial pattern humans exhibit as infants, smiling, is the universal expression of happiness.
Not only does showcasing your grin make you feel good, but it brings light to others’ days. Even though we don’t typically notice ourself curve the sides of our mouths, smiling plays a role throughout our entire day. Regardless of age and sex, everyone have the strength in their facial muscles to smile a bit more. One smile at a time, the world becomes a better place.
When you meet someone new, what is the first thing you notice about a person? In an article by Bogdan Orthodontics, a poll finds that 47% of people notice a person’s smile before any other feature, and people tend to recognize each other based on this smile. Not only does smiling make you appear more approachable and outgoing, but it’s even more contagious than the flu.
Have you ever found yourself frowning at the sight of someone else’s grin? The act of not reciprocating a smile takes a conscious effort. A series of psychological studies have found that people naturally express the same emotion as another who is smiling. That being said, featuring your teeth front and center will benefit you and a majority of those around you. After all, we Americans buy 14 million gallons of toothpaste every year, so I would say we are MINT to show off our one-of-a-kind grins!
Assuming you appreciate a good pun, your body is currently releasing endorphins. These endorphins brighten your mood, boost your immune system, and make you feel better overall. In your relationships, people tend to trust people who smile more. These same people tend to be more successful in their career. With a lower heart rate, blood pressure, and stress level, smiley people tend to live longer lives.
As infants, humans are able to smile. As children, we smile roughly 400 times a day. Whether or not this seems like much, it is exponentially more than the average adult, who only smiles 20 times a day. Breaking this number down even more, there is a significant difference between men and women. While women smile a modest amount of 62 times in a 24-hour time frame, the magic number for males is a mere 8.
Ideally, however, each person should only smile once a day. I’ve heard it said that, “you are never fully dressed without a smile.” Therefore, if you wake up with a smile on your face and keep it bright all day, you are, without a doubt, fully dressed.
Socially, people who smile tend to be considered unprofessional, and flamboyant men may be mislabeled or judged, but as we age, our rapidly-declining beam could be credited to more.
Our daily inconveniences, constant exposure to bad news, and the attitudes of those tend to overwhelm our mood and overall happiness. The difference between optimism and pessimism could mean the world to how we live.
Teaching yourself to respond properly in negative situations is essential to happiness. Help others accomplish their goals and avoid negative remarks. If you think you’re having a “bad day,” ask yourself, “is the day actually bad, or are you letting five minutes that went wrong make the entire day bad?” Believe it or not, you can improve your mood even by faking a smile, and, over time, you may find more and more people calling you a “smiley” person.
Most things that happen to us are beyond our control. Life is 90% what happens to you and 10% what you make of it. Take your 10% and let your smile change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.
Even through the hardest of times, there is always a reason to smile. Spreading happiness with your smile is one of the easiest ways to brighten someone else’s day. In your relationships, throughout your career, and at the doctor, people who smile live better lives. It’s no myth that it’s easier to smile than frown, so why wouldn’t you to strengthen your face muscles and release some stress? After all, one single smile could be the simple curve that sets the world straight… with or without teeth.
Maddie Smith is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of eight area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 20th year.