Humans are meant to smile. In fact, smiling to show our joy and friendliness is so hardwired into us that babies learn to smile before they learn almost anything else about interaction with other people.
So it’s unfortunate that many of us can go entire days without striking a single smile. This is doubly unlucky since smiling can boost endorphins, thereby increasing your mood and the moods of people around you – smiling is contagious!
There are tons of practical benefits to smiling more often, aside from making yourself and other people happy. But how do you get yourself to smile more often, especially if you’re in the habit of frowning more often than not?
This guide is here to explain just that. Let’s dive in!
How Can I Naturally Smile More Often?
Lots of folks already know that it’s nice to smile more often. The trouble comes with learning how to do so naturally. After all, no one likes to see someone smiling like it looks like it hurts!
So how can you smile naturally much more often? Turns out, there are a few tricks you can employ starting today!
Wake Up with a Smile
One great idea is to train yourself, through habit and repetition, to wake up with a smile. It’ll probably take a few days for you to get down, but when you go to bed, tell yourself that the first thing you’ll do upon awakening is smile.
As soon as you wake up and remember, do it! Over time, this habit will become second nature and you’ll start every day with a big grin that readies you to face the world.
Create Cues to Smile
You can double down on this effort and train yourself to smile at particular cues. This technique, derived from certain principles from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, will help teach your body to smile automatically without any brain power required.
The good news is you can choose your cues based on whatever you like! For instance, tell yourself to smile every time you open a door (this is a great trick to make yourself seem more approachable when you enter a room or greet someone at your house, by the way). In time, you’ll smile whenever you open a door no matter what!
Even better, this habit will extend itself into other areas of your life automatically. Soon, you’ll be smiling more often, period, not just when your hand reaches for a doorknob.
Improve Your Mindset
Even with the above tips, there’s no denying that it can be tough to convince yourself to smile more frequently if you’re in a rotten mindset. You have to feel good and optimistic to feel like smiling.
Take some time in the morning to focus on the positives of your life and the things you’re looking forward to in the coming days and weeks. Shift your mindset to become more optimistic and smiles will follow naturally.
Whiten Your Teeth
In addition, you might feel like smiling more often if you feel like your teeth are something to be proud of. For that, you may need to whiten your teeth (unless you’ve been blessed with perfect pearly whites – we’re jealous!).
How Do I Whiten My Teeth?
Good news – there are plenty of ways to whiten your teeth, and without stripping away enamel or causing dental damage.
Strengthen Tooth Enamel
For starters, consider strengthening your teeth’s enamel through re-mineralization. Enamel is a super durable layer of tissue on top of your teeth that protects them from physical and bacterial damage. Enamel is also the part of your teeth that gives them their naturally white color. Dentin, the tooth material underneath enamel, is a little more yellow by default.
Strengthen tooth enamel by making sure your diet includes plenty of calcium and by using fluoride toothpaste and you’ll see a whiter smile in no time, plus enjoy better dental health overall!
Brush with Fluoride
As mentioned, using fluoride toothpaste is key. Fluoride is an effective mineral that can fill in the gaps in your teeth’s enamel layer and strengthen it against damage. Fluoride toothpaste is the best choice you can make, which adds to the fluoride you probably already get from your tap water.
Just be sure to use an electric toothbrush, which is better at scraping away plaque and bacteria. Check out Supersmile’s Zina45 Sonic Pulse brush – it even includes a built-in two-minute timer!
Use a Whitening Toothpaste
You can also look into a whitening toothpaste that contains fluoride as an active ingredient. Some of the best fluoride toothpastes use specialized ingredients that can both whiten and protect your teeth at the same time.
For example, Supersmile’s Professional Whitening Toothpaste uses our primary proprietary ingredient called Calprox, which can both strengthen and whiten your teeth by about six shades in five days without any sensitivity. How neat is that?
Use a Whitening Oral Rinse
By the same token, you can look into using a whitening oral rinse. Mouthwashes are key for sweeping away plaque and bacteria and preventing plaque from forming quickly after your brushing session.
Whitening mouthwashes or oral rinses can also help to whiten your teeth everywhere, not just where your toothbrush bristles can easily reach.
Supersmile’s Whitening Pre-Rinse is an ideal solution for breaking up tooth stains before you brush! Swish this in your mouth before using an electric toothbrush and your teeth will be whiter in no time.
Avoid Coffee and Tea
Sometimes the best way to whiten your teeth is to prevent things from staining them in the first place. To that effect, try to avoid drinking as much coffee and tea, both of which are pretty dark-colored liquids that can stain your teeth's enamel over time.
You should also quit smoking, both for the health benefits and the fact that nicotine can stain your teeth in no time at all.
See a Dentist
Last but not least, be sure to see a dentist at least twice per year for a thorough cleaning. They can ensure that you aren’t suffering from any tooth decay and prevent plaque and bacteria from discoloring your teeth over time.
Why Is Smiling Good For You?
All this can sound like a lot of effort. So why go to the trouble of smiling more often in the first place?
It’s all because smiling is good for you in more ways than one. It makes you seem friendlier and more approachable and will improve your social interactions. It can also directly affect your mood, lifting your spirits even when the day is a bit dour.
What Are the Benefits of Smiling?
Just what are the actual benefits of smiling? Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Smiling can literally improve your mood, even if everything else in your life is currently trying to drag you down. That’s because physically smiling activates certain pathways to your brain, which can release endorphins and change your emotional state for the better.
Furthermore, studies show that smiling more often leads to even greater endorphin increases. You’ll feel better when you smile even more if you do it more often.
Lower Blood Pressure
Interestingly, smiling more often could even positively impact your blood pressure by lowering it. It’s not exactly known why smiling has this effect, although it may be related to the fact that smiling lowers your heart rate and calms you down. It's the perfect example of "fake it 'till you make it" – if you act like things are happy or safe enough to smile, your body will go along with your face's example.
Stronger Immune System
Even better, smiling can improve your immune system. Again, smiling effectively convinces your body that you are relaxed and satisfied, which can strengthen your immune system’s response in a kind of placebo effect.
Of course, there’s no denying that smiling makes you look younger and more attractive. It’s just a fact that we like to look at people who seem like they’re enjoying themselves, regardless of how many wrinkle lines or aging spots their faces might otherwise have.
Alongside the above-mentioned benefits, smiling can provide intense stress relief. If you’re having a bad day or are buckling under the tension at work, try smiling. Chances are that your workload will suddenly seem much more manageable.
Lastly, smiling can provide limited pain relief, probably by releasing endorphins and convincing your body to treat any injuries or discomfort as minor inconveniences as best.
In the end, there’s no good reason not to smile more often. Smiling is contagious, helpful on more than one level, and is all around a great habit to get into even if you don’t feel like it’s worthwhile at first.
If you follow the above tips and practice smiling for just a little while, we’d bet you’ll start smiling more often anyway just from how good it makes you feel.