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Success S alud SMILE POWER “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” That’s a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. Think of how you feel when a complete stranger greets you with a nice, sincere smile? It sure feels nice, right? It’s almost impossible not to return the favor. A nice smile will make you feel trusted, confident and welcomed; it will also calm you down and break the ice with others. Do you know how powerful your smile can be? Every time we smile, chemical reactions go off in our bodies — they are our own natural mood-lifters. The release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin create a natural feel-good sensation. This not only reduces stress, it may also decrease blood pressure and your heart rate. Moreover, smiling will make you look good. The Face Research Laboratory at the University Of Aberdeen in Scotland found that both men and women were more attracted to images of people who made eye contact and smiled than those who didn’t. If you don’t believe it, see how many smiles you get when you smile at people as you walk the street. Don’t be shy, show that smile with confidence. A sincere smile can be more powerful than a thousand words. ABOUT THE AUTHOR › Dr. Hernan Quintero is a dentist specializing in prosthodontics, the dental specialty that fixes, creates and restores smiles. He graduated with Honors from the Post Graduate Prosthodontics at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. He currently practices at HQ Dontics Dental Centre in Miami; HQDontics.com. 54 GRIN ON A great smile is a key element of superior self-esteem and healthy body image. Here are easy ideas to help boost confidence and create a positive attitude, especially on down days. TEX T BY STACY W YNN ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE Never stop learning. Education empowers you to make a difference in your life and the lives of others. Add in some fun, too. It’s hard to feel glum when you’re learning cool new things. BE INSTRUMENTAL Always wanted to play the guitar, learn to play chess, use your GoPro to make a film? Now’s the time to discover your hidden talents and put them to use. GO SHOPPING Go out and get a flattering new outfit or a new hairstyle. This many seem trite but it’s worked for centuries for both women and men. Plus, it’s sure to yield a sense of a quest successfully completed.