Nothing Says Happy Holidays Quite Like a Forever Smile!

Look around at all the holiday shoppers or at festive seasonal events and you can see that people smile for a variety of reasons. After all, there are so many types of smiles and different circumstances that impact how and why we smile, each representing a multitude of responses and emotions ranging from the obvious to more complex. During the holidays for example, your smile can convey a variety of emotions beyond merriment and good cheer, but also surprise, embarrassment and even naughtiness!

Indeed, throughout the holiday season, warm feelings (and the Forever Smiles that go with them) tend to be more prevalent. That’s why Dr. Yan Razdolsky and Dr. Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk work so hard to help patients achieve the smile of their dreams. After all, their smile can be a signal of strength that not only supports their well-being but offers positive encouragement to everyone else around them - especially at the Holidays.

“Everyone knows that smiling is a natural reaction to being happy and content, but as it turns out smiling even if you're not feeling it can trick your brain into believing that you are happy,” said Dr. Yan. “Simply faking a smile makes our brain release serotonin and dopamine, your body's natural feel-good chemicals,” he added.

Serotonin is a hormone commonly referred to as the "happy chemical." It plays a crucial role in some of your most essential bodily processes by transporting signals along and between nerve cells – helping regulate mood, aid in digestion and even offering blood clotting benefits. In fact, a simple release of serotonin is linked to lower stress levels and increased feelings of joy and wellbeing.

Dopamine similarly transports signals between nerve cells and has a significant impact on both your body and brain. It helps control appetite, supports blood circulation and energy management which is vital for speech and movement. Dopamine is also a part of your reward and reinforcement system, playing a fundamental role in the pleasure you experience.

“With these chemicals in mind, if you are feeling a little less than cheerful during the holidays, sometimes simply ‘faking it’ can boost merriment,” said Dr. Yan.

While it may not shorten lines or ease traffic woes, it can give you the boost you need to remain composed, carry on, and carry off that ugly holiday sweater party with more positivity and focus. If you don’t do it for you, do it for someone else. Nothing says good will quite like a smile, and joyful expressions are infectious.

Studies indicate that to better connect and understand what others are feeling, humans instinctively copy each other's facial expressions. This mirroring or sensorimotor simulation allows us to feel and process the emotions of others in addition to interpreting social and contextual cues. So, when you smile at someone it makes them want to return the favor. Now there are two of you enjoying the positive effects of a Forever Smile for the Holidays.