Is Smiling Good for You?Not only will your smile give you health, emotional and societal benefits, you will also be playing your part in spreading the joy around the world. Many of us are aware of the latest health fads; the ketogenic diet, super-foods, float tanks and even Netflix and chill (I’m sure that has health benefits), but how often do we pay attention to the time-honoured humble smile? It’s been around for centuries, so shouldn’t we be giving it the attention it deserves? Personally, I smile quite a lot. I realised that in my early twenties when my nickname at work became ‘Smiler’. For someone who had been called ‘Ostrich’, by the boys in my street while growing up, this was a vast improvement. My Grandmother’s smile reached right into my heart, it was as if each time, she’d scooped me up in a warm blanket of love. My Grandfather, he had a cheeky grin and loved a joke. Spending time with them was, and always will be, precious to me. I think they nurtured my smile and I’ve used it often on my life’s journey.
16 Reasons that Highlight the Importance of a Smile.
1. SMILING HELPS YOU THINK MORE POSITIVELYStudies have shown that smiling when doing something that you don’t necessarily like, helps you to feel much more positive about the task at hand. Darwin originally developed this theory, which is now known as the Facial Feedback Response Theory. What it basically means, is that your brain recognises the movement of your facial muscles, so when they are in the ‘smile’ position it thinks that you are happy which helps you to think positively about the situation. So next time you want to lift that optimism level a notch, break out a full-bodied beam. One that causes the sides of your mouth to curl up and the skin around your eyes to crinkle. That way, your brain gets the message that you are happy and it will help you have a more positive outlook.
2. SMILING MAKES YOU MORE ATTRACTIVELadies, did you know that the most important thing in your makeup bag is your smile?
Therefore, it’s not so much the colour of our lipstick but what our lips are doing
… that the evaluation of attractiveness is strongly influenced by the intensity of a smile expressed on a face: A happy facial expression could even compensate for relative unattractiveness.
…while younger adults look healthier when they smile, older adults look much healthier. A smile was a more important cue than how old the face appeared to be. … Scientific proof that a smile really is the best accessory. – Dr. Alex Jones
3. SMILING IS CONTAGIOUSMost often when you smile at someone, they smile back. Little neurons in our brain are wired to imitate another person smiling as it helps us assess how that person is feeling. We are also emotional human beings and most of us want to reciprocate. Sometimes we are too wrapped up in what we are doing to even register that someone has smiled at us. I know I can be miles away in my own little world and then realise too late that someone smiled once they have already passed me. I then feel bad for not smiling back.
4. The Importance of your Smile for Happiness
5. A SMILE IS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGEA gesture we all understand across the world is a smile. It is something we all do innately and is not something that we learn to do. For example, babies who are blind, smile at their parent’s voice. In the words of the late writer and poet, William Arthur Ward;
Being on the road for so long now and having visited so many different countries, we have used this valuable commodity on many occasions. When neither of you speaks a common language, a smile and a laugh go a long way in getting along. It’s the universal language, so they say, and for us, it has definitely gotten us out of some tricky situations. In most countries, it conveys warmth and friendliness and tells the other person that, ‘We come in peace!’ That said though, how we perceive a smile is learnt and that perception can vary between cultures. Charlene Solomon writes an interesting article on, The Cross-cultural Implications of Smiling, surmising that countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia have smiling cultures whereas countries like China, Russia, and Japan do not. This is something to bear in mind if you are travelling to other countries. Throughout our travels, in Europe, we have had many a time where a smile has warmed our hearts and made us feel welcome, even when we shared no common language. There have also been occasions where our smiles have been met with stone cold faces. Sometimes this is an individual thing but can also be reflective of the specific culture. In the main though, smiling brightens the day of most of us across the world.
A warm smile is a universal language of kindness.
6. SMILING CAN MAKE YOU LOOK MORE INTELLIGENT
7. SMILING IS FREEThere aren’t too many valuable assets today, that
8. SMILING CAN BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEMThis one is a great example of the importance of a smile in connection with your health. Smiling releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals) which in turn, causes a reduction of cortisol (your stress hormones). As a result, this means that your body is more effective in fighting off infections. To get the most benefit it should be a genuine one and not a fake one – think of something that makes you laugh or something that genuinely makes you smile and your immune system will get a welcome boost.
9. SMILING IS QUICK AND EASYSo many of us seem to be time poor, so this is one thing that won’t be a drain on that finite resource. It can take less than a few seconds but can brighten someone’s whole day and improve your health and wellbeing.
10. THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR SMILE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
11. SMILING IS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLYThis simple act does nothing but
12. SMILING CAN LEAD TO PROMOTIONSmilers are perceived as more confident and sociable. Ultimately that means that the more you smile, the more likely you will be picked for promotion.
13. SMILING CAN LOWER STRESS
14. SMILING HELPS YOU LIVE LONGERIt’s quite possible that smiling could add quite a few years to your life. Just another testament to how smiling and positivity are so good for you and your wellbeing. The wider your smile and the more laughter lines you have, the longer you are likely to live. They measured the smiles of baseball players and then compared these with their lifespan. The study concluded that smiling could add five to eight years to your life. It’s such a simple thing to do and with such huge gains – get those wide grins going and crinkle up those eyes for a longer lifetime of fun and happiness.
15. SMILING CAN BE A PAIN RELIEVERSmiling while experiencing pain lessens the effect of the pain. Studies show that pain can be reduced by up to about 40%. Not a bad natural remedy to have available right there on tap. brains see it as a reward. So it doesn’t just feel good for you, that great feeling transfers on to someone else. In addition, when they smile back at you, you get an extra boost too! …and so it goes on. The gift that just keeps on giving. Mother Theresa said,
So, go ahead and give yourself a gift right now. The more you do it, the more it becomes a natural habit. Smiling is not only wonderful for your own wellbeing, but so many other’s
‘We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.’
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