Learning How to Smile-Properly, that is.

I continue to amaze myself every day with the things I do not know how to do properly.

This past weekend, I was out with friends, and tried to photobomb a picture. I was smiling in the photo, and my smile just looked awful. Something definitely looked worse about my smile. It was fairly dark in the photo, so I do not think it was the color of my teeth. My teeth are also relatively straight, so they are not getting more crooked.

I came home and smiled in the mirror. It just looked... off. I have always had more gums than teeth in my smile, but the teeth were starting to look more crooked.

Naturally, I started Googling solutions.

I came across a simple solution that I had not thought about. The post was on a subReddit for posture (I think-- I cannot find the post again for your reading pleasure).
The person said to:
"Make sure your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. Not just the tip of the tongue, but the back of the tongue as well"

The lightbulb went off in my head.

Duh! My tongue usually rested on the bottom of my mouth. Unsurprisingly, I have a lot of tension issues with my jaw. I also need to use a mouth guard for night time teeth grinding, which I still have not given an honest try.

So, I started practicing smiling.

I will not claim it looks 100% better, I think some of my mouth issues may stem from the teeth grinding. But, oh my goodness! I look so much more genuine when I smile. Even with my gummiest smile, I still am not showing nearly as much gum as I did before, hence, my smile does not look disproportionately crooked.

Why did no one tell me about this before!

Such a simple fix has changed my life so much.

This sounds cheesy, but I think it has even positively impacted my mood. I have always had resting bitch face, or so I thought. Once I corrected my tongue, I look at least 50% friendlier.

RBF
RBF
Normal-ish face

I go from "OMG what is her deal?!" to "Eh, maybe she is having a bad day" in one fell swoop. Incredible! I also always thought the whole "smiling impacts your mood" thing was nonsense, but since my resting face has gone from miserable to neutral, I feel so much better. I feel more open to other people and ready to face the day, rather than hide from it. The power of positive thinking, or at least positive appearances!

With this new outlook, I have been inspired to seek other positive changes in behavior that may impact my moods. In the past, I have dismissed Yoga because I figured it was not really much of a work out. Well, I am incredibly inflexible, and after seeing how much healthier and happier I look and feel with changes in mouth posture, I figured it was time to try Yoga out, to see what the fuss is about. I have only done about 3 workouts so far, but I am so inspired. I am currently on day two of a 30 day challenge, and I am so excited to see the changes I will encounter in the next 29 days.
I will write a more detailed blog post soon, and let you all know how I feel.

Until then, I am going to keep smiling--properly.

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