Smiles are amazing things. They can be seen, felt (children born blind know how to smile), heard over the phone, and even transmitted on email. Smiling is the universal communicator across cultures, times zones, ages, and languages.
Not only do smiles inspire others to smile back, they create a positive loop in our brains to influence a feeling of joy – which makes us smile more! Studies indicate that the power of a smile makes us happier than chocolate!
Smiles are good for you and those around you! Smiling reduces stress that can affect your physical and mental health. A smile generates more positive emotions and calms fear and insecurity. It decreases stress hormones, increases mood, and lowers blood pressure. They are also good predictors of a happier, longer life and correlated with health, friends, and success. Smiling makes you more approachable, likeable, and deemed to be more competent.
Smiling improves not only your own life but also that of others. A simple smile helps others establish a mutual feeling of being in agreement as it releases tension, provides reassurance, and makes you and others feel good.
Life clearly smiles upon smiling people. Therefore the important act of smiling should be practiced daily! Start by smiling at the person who can help you the most – the person looking back at you in the mirror! Recall a happy thought or imagine a happy event about to happen and smile. Remember – real smiles extend up to your eyes! Just practicing this can make you happier!
Happy people smile about 40-50 times a day. Kids however are the record holders at 400 times a day!
When to smile –
- Stop for a moment each day to be grateful to be alive, here, today – and smile.
- Smile when you enjoy a favorite food, when you admire brief magical moments, when you are playful in thought, words, or actions, or for an extra bit of stamina to endure a challenging physical activity.
- Give someone a smile because sometimes that is the very best gift they can receive.
Find smiles, and smiles will find you!
Also see Paradise Found – Happiness and Quiz: Take the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (at the link toward the bottom of the page).
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References: The Untapped Power of Smiling; The Science of Smiling: A Guide to the World’s Most Powerful Gesture