Ok I know it’s cheesy to say it, and I hate it when anyone tells you to ‘Cheer up’, but a smile really can make the world of difference – not just in terms of looking nicer, but feeling better too. I’ve been reading up about the effects of a smile and here’s what I’ve learnt:
Smiling is good for your health: It may seem silly, but when you’re stressed out or anxious, all you have to do is smile and you will relax. When participants in a smile study were recovering from a stressful situation, those who smiled experienced a lower heart rate than the participants with a neutral or negative expression. Smiling can even help to fight illness by making your body produce more white blood cells and therefore strengthens your immune system.
Smiling makes you happy: You don’t have to work out to get a “runner’s high” from endorphins – simply smiling will release endorphins, and these extra positive chemicals in your body makes you feel happier. This sound great to me, because I’m super-lazy, so I’m going to make smiling my exercise! Just the action of smiling lift your spirits, and try smiling in a mirror – chances are you’ll end up laughing at yourself!
Smiling is contagious: Studies report that just seeing another person smile activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement and often results in a reflected smile. So if someone is down and you want to cheer them up, give them a smile and they are likely to mimic the expression.
Smiling makes you attractive: The European Journal of Social Psychology discovered that smiling actually makes you appear more attractive as it projects positive personality traits such as being friendly, kind, empathetic and easy-going. No amount of expensive make-up can make up for a sour expression, so go back to basics and slap on a smile – that’s all you need to look prettier, and it’s free.
Smiling will get you friends: People are more willing to engage with those who are smiling and will seek out social interactions with smilers. Think about your friends vs the people who are not your friends – why is that the case? Chances are it’s because they don’t smile enough when they are around you – and who has time for miserable friends?!
So if a smile is that important, and you’re going to be flashing it at every opportunity, you want it to look good, right? I’ve therefore investigated some of the ways that you can jazz-up your smile easily and effectively.
1. Try a different colour. If you’re not someone who wear lipstick, give it a go! If you always stick to nude shades, try a funky coral or pretty pink. If you’re feeling bold – go for it! – wear red! Any colour or product that you wear on your lips will certainly draw attention to your smile and will make you look even more attractive when you flash it.
2. Keep your teeth sparkling. Clean, white teeth are important when showing them off with a big, beaming smile, so it’s a good idea to brush with an electric toothbrush (I do four minutes each time – 2 on the top teeth, 2 on the bottom) which gives more brush-strokes per minute than a manual tooth brush. There are lots of ‘whitening’ toothpaste out there or if you’re a massive fan of tea and coffee like me, you might want to consider a professional teeth whitening treatment from a dentist or reputable clinic such as MYA.
3. Use the right products. There are lots of lip glosses that promise to plump up your lips, which will improve your smile, and Avon do some good ranges of lip-treatments to smooth wrinkles around the mouth. But imagine if you could also get a lip gloss that helps to whiten your teeth – yes, it does exist! In fact, any lip colour with a bluish undertone will help to make teeth look more sparkling white, so choose your lip colour carefully and really look at how it makes your teeth look as well as your lips.
And that’s it! Now you have a beautiful smile that will cheer everyone up, improve your health and make you look prettier!