According to new research this is what makes us happiest
It will come as no surprise that we are naturally drawn to people who smile. A smiling face may make someone look more friendly, but is there more to the act of a grin than meets the eye?
Invisalign®, the company offering a clear alternative to braces, surveyed 2,000 people to find out what makes them happy* – and the findings might surprise you. It turns out it’s not money or Instagram likes that put a smile on our dials, it’s actually the little things.
RELATED: My Invisalign journey: Part one
Smiling can make you happy…for real
Next time you’re not feeling 100% try putting on a smile! Of those surveyed, 8 out of 10 admitted they felt happier when they smiled. This is because the physical act of smiling activates mood-boosting neurotransmitters like endorphins in the brain, which can trick the body into an elevated mood.
Saturday is our happiest day of the week
You don’t win any points for guessing that Saturday, being part of the weekend, is collectively our happiest day of the week. In fact, just finishing the work week conjures up a smile in 39% of people – perhaps why 4-5pm on a Friday is our overall happiest time of the week #relatable.
72% of respondents feel happy at work
Perhaps the most unexpected insight from the study is that it seemed to uncover the biggest misconception about work: as much as we love to knock it, we’re actually pretty happy… we just hate to admit it! Those who took part in the research cited sociable colleagues (54%), a positive environment (47%) and like-minded colleagues (37%) as reasons they smile in the workplace.
Sure we have our off days but for the most part we're pretty happy at work / Credit Miss FQ
Best friends make us smile the most
Above family, children, pets and even comedians – it’s our bffs that make us smile the most. Aww!
Coffee can trigger a smile
Anyone else look forward to their morning coffee? Whether it’s catching up with co-workers around the espresso machine or just the caffeine hit itself, the research revealed coffee makes 39% of people happy. Those beans have so much power.
BRB *texts BFF* / Credit Miss FQ
80% of people aren’t satisfied with how much they smile
A third surveyed consider themselves happier than they were five years ago, and on average smiling 20 times a day – a great result and heading in the right direction, but 80 percent of respondents still wish they smiled more!
So, what can we do about it?
“Smiling feels good! When we smile we actually trick our brain into releasing happy chemicals known as endorphins. When our brain releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, our feelings of happiness increase and our sensations of stress decrease. Not only can smiling increase your happiness it also can boost your overall mood and your immune system too.” remarks psychologist Jaimie Bloch.
If you’ve never sent a bunch of flowers or a handwritten note, you’re not alone – over a third of respondents confessed they’ve neglected such gestures, highlighting the fact we could really be doing more to make others smile.
Simple ways to make people (and yourself) smile
Brightening someone’s day doesn’t have to be hard or cost money.
1. Compliment someone
Over the last decade, new technology and social media has raised concerns over what we as a society base our happiness on – and whether it has changed so much that the simple things can no longer fulfil us. However, the research revealed that a real-life compliment still trumps a ‘like’ on social media...phew.
2. Think happy thoughts
Our mood is heavily influenced by what we think and therefore, our thoughts can often impact how we feel. If we think happy thoughts, we are more likely to trigger a smile and increase our wellbeing and happiness.
3. Tell or show someone you love them
A simple act of kindness goes a long way – smiling at a stranger or checking in with a friend to ask how they’re doing can make their day, and yours too. Making a conscious effort to communicate and show you care can be the ultimate happiness boost.
4. Show some generosity
By donating your time, help or money to charity or doing a good deed to help someone, you may feel happier and smile more because you imagine the positive impact your efforts can make.
5. Smile at everyone you see today
Smile and the whole world smiles with you… or so the saying goes. The study reports that the notion of smiling is contagious and it is a domino effect – so you can truly spread those positive vibes by smiling yourself. However, for many people, confidence in their smile is a huge barrier. If you shy away from smiling, you might not be reaping all of the above benefits that come with it. With 62% of adults wanting to improve their smile, it’s a shared struggle. But it doesn’t need to be as hard as it used to be. Many adults think it’s too late to improve their smile, and don’t want chunky braces to interfere with their lifestyle.
Invisalign®, the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, has treated over 7 million patients worldwide to date. Invisalign is a clear and removable alternative to braces and is recommended by dental experts around the world.
If you’re interested in starting Invisalign treatment or want to learn more visit www.invisalign.co.nz/free-assessment.
Invisalign® treatment is a series of clear plastic removable orthodontic aligners that gently move patients’ teeth. Invisalign must be administered by a healthcare professional. You should always read and follow their directions for use. In rare cases, allergies may occur.
Jaimie Bloch received a fee for her involvement with this article. Her opinions are her own.
* Research conducted by Pureprofile with funding from Align Technology in September 2019. The research study polled 2000 Australians, aged 18-65+.
Pureprofile is an independent, actively managed panel of digital members accessed through a proprietary technology platform.
Main image: Miss FQ Issue 1. Photography Jono Parker
What makes you smile most?