On certain days, I wake up on the right side of the bed and the whole day seems to follow in suit. Sometimes it’s because I got a great night of sleep or maybe I have something to look forward to later in the week; perhaps, I had the right amount of java before I got moving or simply because my chemicals are all cooperating correctly. Then there are days that are absolutely dark and dreary. Maybe it’s the weather; I might be dreading something later in the week or feeling ill for some reason. On those days, it’s very difficult to grace my face with a smile; those days seem like “bouncers that won’t let me in.“ But I don’t for one second let them win. On those days, I choose to smile anyway, because smiling is good for you (1)! Here are five reasons you should smile more.
Smiling Makes You Look Trustworthy
In a study published in The Journal of Perceptual & Motor Skills, researchers showed participants pictures of 45 female models that had different degrees of smiles and facial expressions. They found that the models that had the biggest smiles were perceived as more trustworthy than mild smiling or non-smiling women. They were also perceived as more attractive to the viewer. So next time you want to put someone at ease, show him or her your pearly whites (2).
Smiling Makes You Look Confident
You know the old saying, “Never let them see you sweat.” I say, “Always let them see you smile.” Smiling makes you look more confident and that is down right sexy in my book. Next time you are on a first date and you are shaking in your boots, take the attention to your pretty smile and you will be perceived as cool, calm, and confident. Same goes for a scary job interview or anything else that makes you feel nervous.
Smiling is Contagious
There is something called The Contagion Theory, in which our bodies imitate the expressions and movements of those we are looking at. So when you smile, a person looking at you automatically smiles back. They actually have to purposefully try to not smile in order to keep themselves from doing this. (In which case those kinds of people don’t deserve the benefits of a smile anyway!) So do your neighbor a favor and put a smile on your face (3).
Smiling Makes You Happy
When you smile, your brain naturally releases the chemicals that are associated with happiness. So a smile can act as a pseudo-antidepressant for you! If you have a hard time faking just put on a funny movie, watch a dog frolic around outside or try my trick of sticking a pen or pencil in your mouth! Plus it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile; so smile, it’s easy (4)!
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Smiling Relieves Stress
In a study in 2012, participants were asked to do stress-inducing tasks while smiling. The researchers found that the participants that were smiling had a significant decrease in heart rate and anxiety. So next time you are forced into a stressful situation, try smiling your way through it (5).
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
Do yourself and the whole world a favor, share that beautiful smile of yours. You will soon see all the benefits that tag along with turning up the corner of your mouth has to offer. Even if life isn’t going your way, try a smile; it is sure to save your day!
- Some days Are Better Than Others- U2: https://youtu.be/mQj0hzwCjpI
- Schmidt, K., R. Levenstein, and Z. Ambadar. “INTENSITY OF SMILING AND ATTRACTIVENESS AS FACIAL SIGNALS OF TRUSTWORTHINESS IN WOMEN 1, 2.” Perceptual & Motor Skills3 (2012): 964-978.