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The holiday season may bring you excitement, stress, or a strange combination of these emotions. Everyone has that one relative—you know, the one that can make family gatherings awkward, uncomfortable, or even stressful at times. Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it til you make it”? It may come as a surprise, but with smiling, this phrase can come in handy.

Your Smile’s Effect on Emotions
I’m sure you’re aware that when you’re happy, you smile—but did you know that the opposite can also be true? Different studies show that smiling can help people feel happier and less stressed. For smiling to have much of an impact on your mood, however, it needs to be a true smile. The smile should reach the eyes. Laughing helps to produce a true smile. Find things at your family gatherings that make you smile and laugh even through the stress.

The Effect of Smiling on the Brain
When you smile, the brain releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These molecules fight off stress and transmit happy emotions.

How Smiling Affects Your Health
The endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin that are released when you smile don’t only affect your mood—they affect your body as well. These molecules not only relax you emotionally, they also relax your muscles. They also lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. In addition, endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers.

Here at Mark L. DeWitt DDS, we are proud to give you something to smile about! Call us at 517-323-7926 today to learn more and to schedule a visit with our dentist in Lansing, Michigan, Dr. Mark DeWitt.