The way we feel is often written all over our face. We smile when we feel happy, and frown when we feel sad. According to several recent studies of Botox recipients and others not receiving Botox, emotions may be reinforced and potentially driven by facial expressions. The evidence points to emotions involving not just the brain, but also the face, which may play a larger role.
One study, completed by psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales, determined that people who are unable to frown due to cosmetic Botox injections tended to be happier than those who are able to frown. After administering an anxiety and depression questionnaire to 25 female participants, half who had received Botox injections and half who had not, the Botox recipients stated that they felt more positive and less anxious. Furthermore, the Botox recipients did not report feeling any more physically appealing, which suggests that the emotional effects were not a result of a psychological boost from their recent cosmetic procedure.
Findings from the study also suggest that emotions are not just confined to the brain, but that the rest of the body can play a role in reinforcing feelings. Thus, smiling even if you are having a bad day can have a positive effect on your mood.
The emotional and restorative benefits of smiling are just another reason to take great care of your mouth. Oral health affects overall health in very prominent ways, so be sure that you are doing all you can to keep your smile healthy and vibrant.