Even if it feels awkward, and even if a smile doesn’t depict your current mood….SMILE. 😀 Right now, give it a try and just smile! Whether your smile is genuine or fake, research shows smiling is good for you because it can increase your happy-factor and even reduce stress.
Smiling Can Improve Your Mood
Facial expressions clearly convey our mood, but did you know facial expressions can also influence our mood? Even fake smiles can improve our mood.
Smiling frequently, whether genuine or fake, can “trick” our brain into producing more positive rather than negative thoughts.
According to Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage, making smiling a daily habit can retrain our brain to have more positive-thinking patterns rather than negative ones, which ultimately creates a happiness loop. It’s simple and easy; more smiling can lead to more happiness!
Smiling is Contagious – Spread Cheer!
If you smile at someone (stranger or not), it’s likely that they’ll return the smile. You smile – they smile. Imagine how you can change the mood in a room full of people!
There’s actually scientific explanation for why smiling is contagious. It involves mirror neurons, a small circuit of cells in the brain. Neuroscientist Marco Lacoboni told Scientific American, “When I see you smiling, my mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, initiating a cascade of neural activity that evokes the feeling we typically associate with a smile. I don’t need to make any inference on what you are feeling, I experience immediately and effortlessly (in a milder form, of course) what you are experiencing.”
Smiling Makes You More Approachable
Are you more likely to strike up a conversation with someone who has a smile or someone who looks depressed or angry? Most people would agree that a smiler looks much more approachable and likely to be friendly. A genuine smile is perceived as a sign of a happy person, and most people prefer to create friendships with happy people.
Smile For Your Health
When you smile, your facial muscle movement triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins make us feel happy, and they also help lower stress levels.
Since it’s the physical muscle movement that is the trigger, a fake smile works as good as the real thing. (Source: “Grin and bear it: Smiling facilitates stress recovery.” published by Association of Psychological Science.)
There’s even research that says people who smile a lot tend to live longer.
So if you want to make a good impression, simply show your beautiful smile and you’ll be well on your way to appearing likable and winning people over. Read my post about positive thinking which will also give you true reason to smile!
Bonus: there’s no need to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday because all these benefits are yours for the everyday low, low price of (drum roll…) free! It costs you nothing to smile so you have nothing to lose. Go ahead and put a smile on your face, and then take note of how you feel and how people react to you. I bet it will “bring you joy” and be worth the effort to make it a daily habit.
That, my friend, is why smiling is good for you. Try a fake smile right now, and then please let me know in a comment below how it makes you feel!