We all have days when we just want to stay under the bed covers and hide from the world. Days when our mood is low and nothing seems to fix it.
But there is one small thing that will help. It is a superpower we all possess: our smile.
Generally, smiles are considered to be an expression of our mood – by smiling we show that we’re feeling happy. But actually, scientists have discovered that it works the other way too. Just by smiling, you can make yourself feel happy!
Smiling makes you healthier.
If you smile, your brain releases endorphins, which are responsible for the experience of euphoria. These endorphins help your body and mind to feel relaxed and happy. By the way, remember how eating chocolate makes you happy? Thank the endorphins for it.
Endorphins are also responsible for regulating pain. This makes your smile a natural pain reliever.
Other chemicals that your brain releases make you healthier in different ways: they lower your heart rate and blood pressure and make your immune system stronger. So if you want to live a long and healthy life, make sure you smile a lot.
Smiling also reduces stress and anxiety and lifts your mood. It’s like your own anti-depressant!
Smiling makes others see you differently
The way you look at other people influences the way the think of you and the way they treat you. As William Makepeace Thackeray put it: “The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.“
A frown will most likely make other people turn away, or at least wonder why you’re upset. That’s not a great way to start a conversation.
But a smile? A smile changes everything. If you smile at someone, they will see you as reliable, empathetic, trustworthy and attractive.
Think about it. Would you rather approach a person with a frown or someone with a beaming a smile?
Remember… first impressions matter. Approaching people with a smile will help you to form positive and lasting relationships.
But there’s more…
Smiling makes happiness viral
Smiling not only boosts your own mood, but it also helps to generate happiness for the people around you. The reason for this is very simple: Smiling is contagious.
When you smile at someone, more often than not, they mirror your facial expression. This is an automatic response – it actually takes more effort not to smile back!
Have you ever noticed that many people feel very happy when they are around children? Part of the reason for this is that children smile much, much more than adults. And that rubs off on everyone around them.
When someone smiles back at you, they are getting all the health benefits as well and will feel happier. Think of your smile as your present to the world!
Give it a try
A smile is such a simple thing to do and it comes with wonderful benefits. Spontaneous smiles are the most powerful. But the fascinating thing is, that smiles even work when we “fake” them.
Give it a try – let’s do it right now. Lift up the corners of your mouth until the skin around your eyes wrinkles too. How does it make you feel?
If you’re in a room with other people, let your eyes wander around… Who’s smiling back at you? Does the smile travel further, from one person to the next? How does it change the atmosphere?
Smiling at someone does not require much effort. But remember: it’s a superpower. There is so much it can do for you own well-being and for those of others. And the best thing is: you can do it right now.