It’s easy enough to smile, but many people aren’t smiling as often as they should. Smiling can do a lot for you, your life gets more peaceful, and it feels great, too. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the reasons why it can help to smile more.
Smiling is free and has many benefits – not just for you, but also for those around you. You may be surprised by what happens when you smile more.
Before we begin, let’s do a quick exercise (no sweating, I promise). Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, then open your mouth and exhale. As you exhale, smile. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again. If it still doesn’t work, then make a really silly face, take a deep breath in, and exhale with a smile. Do this three times and then observe how you feel. That brings us to our first benefit:
Smiling makes you feel good
Did you know that when you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides which can help fight off stress? These neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin and endorphins come. Endorphins can help relieve discomfort, whereas the serotonin can help lift your mood. That’s why smiling makes you feel good. Several studies have shown that you can uplift your attitude and perception of a negative situation just by smiling. There is even evidence that a forced smile (smiling when you don’t feel like it) has similar benefits.
Take a few seconds and test it out. Put a big genuine smile on your face and notice how your mood changes. You have more control over your emotions and your mood than you think. Smiling is a simple tool to help you control how you feel.
Smiling makes others feel good
Would you rather be greeted by someone with a smile or someone with a frown? Almost everyone I know would say being greeted by a smile – after all, who wants a frowny faced greeting? That goes both ways.
Smiling makes others smile. When you smile, other people smile, too. When you make others smile, they feel good. When you make them feel good, they like you. You get the picture. When you smile it benefits others, and those benefits flow back to you.
A 2010 Swedish study, called “The Voluntary Facial Action Technique,” found you can’t help but react with a smile when you see someone else smiling. Smiling more is contagious – in a good way.
Smiling is good for your confidence
You automatically feel more confident when you smile. You have a better outlook on your circumstances and yourself. This can definitely give your confidence a boost. Many successful sales people make it a point to smile before approaching a customer, whether in person or on the phone. They will tell you it makes a huge difference in the outcome. You have greater potential for success when you have more confidence.
Smiling is good for your social life
Smiling more makes you more approachable. People will be more interested in getting to know you if you appear to be a happy person. Being more approachable opens the opportunity for making more friends, dates, and social opportunities. If you want to fill up your social calendar, make sure to smile more.
Smiling is good for your immune system
Smiling can make you resistant to illness. Smiling has been shown to boost your immune system. You’re less likely to catch a cold, the flu, or a variety of other ailments if you smile. Other chronic diseases are linked to immune function, too. Smile more and be healthy.
A study referenced in Scientific American done during the 1980s and early 1990s revealed that the brain is directly wired to the immune system. They found portions of the nervous system connected with immune-related organs such as the thymus and bone marrow, and immune cells have receptors for neurotransmitters, suggesting that smiling more can boost these cells.
Smiling relieves stress
Smiling lowers stress. Stress can make you miserable and affect your health – physically, mentally, and emotionally. The more you smile, the less stressed you’ll feel.
Researchers at the University of Kansas published findings that smiling helps reduce the body’s response to stress and lower heart rate in tense situations; another study linked smiling to lower blood pressure, while yet another suggests that smiling leads to longevity. That’s a great stress reliever in itself.
Smiling increases your trust factor
Science Direct published a study in 2015 called “Honest signaling in trust interactions: smiles rated as genuine induce trust and signal higher earning opportunities,” that genuine smiles increased trustworthiness.
The study showed that smiling makes others trust you more. Try it out and see for yourself. Also, consider the people you know that smile a lot. Do you trust them more or less than those whom you rarely see smile?
Smiling makes you more productive
Studies show that smiling has a definite impact on the workplace and enhances employee productivity. Numerous studies have also demonstrated that smiling increases your personal productivity. You get more accomplished when you’re in a good mood, and so do the people around you.
Smiling makes you more creative
You’re also more creative when you smile. You can find more effective solutions to challenges. Your artistic side will be enhanced if you smile more.
Wrapping it Up
Smiling has many scientifically proven benefits. Hopefully, you see the value of smiling and are motivated to smile more easily and more often.
Take a moment to repeat the short exercise we did when we first started. Now think about everyone you know and how much they smile. What do the frequent smilers have in common? What about those that don’t smile as much? How do your observations compare to the information presented above?
The next time you’re feeling a little grumpy or down in the dumps, remember to smile. As we learned today, more smiles are good for you. A genuine smile has a power all its own.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.