Smiling is a natural way to show happiness or pleasure. Even blind babies, who have never seen a smile, smile at a pleasing sound or voice. When you feel good, you just have to show it! But, what are the benefits of smiling? Should we really be aiming to smile more, or should we be satisfied with the amount of smiling that we currently do on a day-to-day basis? You may find yourself smiling a lot as you read this article when you realize how awesome the benefits of smiling are.
1. People Like You More
Smiling is a universal language, and when people see you smile, they instantly find you more likable and attractive. Smiling changes your whole demeanor and it is one of the quickest and cheapest beauty remedies out there. This is good news if you are single and trying to find someone, but it is also good news if you just want to have better experiences with people, no matter where you go or who you want to influence.
It’s interesting that the benefits of smiling also include more trust in relationships. Research has shown that we are more trustful of people when they sincerely smile at us. What this means for your current relationships is more happiness. Since trust is the basis of all relationships, increasing trust can only improve and strengthen them.
2. Smiling Makes Other People Feel Good
The people who need to see a smile the most are often the people who can’t force a smile on their face. A warm smile, combined with a warm attitude, can warm up anyone’s heart and spread some light in a world that may seem pretty bleak to them.
For example, a friend of mine worked at a hospital for many years, and he has told me that offering a smile in a place like that is similar to offering gold. Staff become numb to the suffering that patients are going through, because they see it day in and day out, so they are quick and ‘professional’ with people who are in pain or not doing well. And, sometime, staff becomes annoyed with their job, which means they become rude and short-tempered with the patients they deal with. Not all staff, but many. They are busy doing their job, which consists of routine day-to-day tasks, but they forget that their job is also taking care of people through hard times. The nurses, doctors, and support staff who were able to offer a genuine smile to people suffering, were the most liked staff in the place, not just by the patients, but the other staff as well.
Smiling also makes other people feel more comfortable in your presence. Imagine walking into a big party where everyone is frowning and talking in a serious manner. It would be hard to approach someone comfortably in that situation. However, if there was one person standing beside the bar, smiling, would you feel comfortable approaching them? Probably. You would be drawn to that person over all the other people in the room, despite how many there were, simply because of a smile.
3. Smiling Is Contagious
Never mind being liked more, the power of your smile can actually make someone else smile. In fact, research has shown that your brain responds to a smile in a way that activates a smile on yourself. Perhaps this is why it is so hard to not smile at someone when they smile at you – even if they are making you upset. The common statistic is that more than 50% of the people you meet will smile back at you. And the good news is that smiling has a bunch of other health benefits, so you will be helping other people become healthier if you can get them to smile!
4. Smiling Activates Feel Good Hormones
If you are feeling stressed out or upset, then smile. The hormones that are released – endorphins – are the same hormones that are released when you exercise, which we all know makes us feel better about ourselves and the day we are living. What are the specific benefits of releasing endorphins?
– Reduced pain
– Reduced stress
– Regulation of appetite
– Release of sex hormones
– Enhancement of the immune system
So, smiling is good for your health, and if you are not doing it now, then you are not taking advantage of the cheapest form of medicine around.
5. Smiling Can Get You Out Of A Sticky Situation
Did you get caught doing something embarrassing or something that you shouldn’t have done? Smiling may help you out more than a long-winded speech trying to convince someone to forgive you or look past your trespasses. Smiling has been shown to promote empathy with other people, which means that you may be able to help someone else see things from your point of view, and why you did what you did, by smiling before you explain yourself.
Kids seem to know this well, especially teenage boys. It’s like their secret weapon to getting out of trouble. They will give you a charming smile, make you smile, and then whatever they did doesn’t seem as bad as it was before they made you smile. They use it as a weapon to relate to you and minimize the anger, and it works well! Remember this tactic the next time you have some explaining to do!
6. Increases Your Life Span
Research has found that people with beaming smiles in their pictures while younger outlive the people who kept a straight face. In fact, one study has found that having the ability to smile throughout life can increase your lifespan about 7 years.
This is likely due to the health, relationship, and mood benefits that smiling has. When you feel stressed out, you are affecting your body negatively by putting a lot of stress on it, but when you are able to smile and relax, you are encouraging your body to relax as well, which is great for healing and repairing. Moreover, healthier relationships have also been shown to increase your lifespan, and when you are able to increase the trust and happiness in your relationships by smiling often, it makes sense that your lifespan would also be increased.
7. Help You Achieve Your Goals
First, relationships are crucial to having more success towards your goal. They can help you get ahead and stay motivated. Second, better health helps you achieve your goals faster. When you are energetic and in good spirits, you are more likely to stick to the habits that help you reach your goals and do what needs to be done. Since smiling benefits your relationships and your health, it makes sense that it would also help you achieve your goals!
Moreover, a smile can help you appear confident, even when you don’t feel it, and earn the respect of people that you need to help you achieve your goals as well as give you the motivation you need to keep working towards them. If you ever watch people whistling while they work, you can see this in action. When you feel good about yourself and what you are doing, you get things done.
8. It Convinces Others To Try Something You Love
Joan Rivers once said “the first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.” Thinking about her quote, I personally don’t see joggers smiling either, and even though I know they benefit from it, I don’t feel like it is something that would bring me a lot of pleasure. However, when I watch people dance, I see a lot of smiling, and it makes me want to dance too. Same with cooking.
Smiling makes whatever you are doing look exciting or fun. Even one of my favorite YouTube vloggers is a woman who smiles as she talks – always, which has convinced me that she is very passionate about what she does, and inspires me to do the things she recommends.
As with all benefits of smiling, the smile has to be genuine, which hers is. Some vloggers (or people in my direct life) put on a fake smile, and it makes me think they are trying to convince me of something simply for the fact that they want to sell me on something or – possibly, convince themselves that they are really happy. Either way, it doesn’t convince me of anything.
9. It Makes You Look Younger
Not only does smiling make you look more attractive, whatever age you are, it also makes you look younger. How much younger differs depending on who you talk to. A post on the Daily Mail said that smiling can make you look up to four years younger, but there are some people who are adamant that it can reduce your age by much more.
There is not a lot of literature on why smiling makes you look younger, but I have a good guess. Smiling is a youthful thing to do. Kids smile all the time, and we all love when they laugh and giggle at something completely random. It is a way to show their innocence, even in the toughest of times. In other words, a smile represents youthfulness and innocence, so when we see someone smile, our brain perceives their youthfulness and innocence and instantly takes a few or more years off their real age.
10. It Can Create Harmony
A smile can get you out of a sticky situation, but it can also promote harmony in times of stress. Mother Teresa once said “peace beings with a smile,” and it is such a simple truth that we often miss it.
Instead of trying to please other people or force them to see our point of view, smiling can send a message that we are not judging them or thinking bad thoughts about them in any way. Instead, a smile shows them that we feel good in their company, which helps them lower their defenses and feel better in our company. Harmony.
So, the next time you find yourself in a disagreement, or in a situation where a disagreement is likely to pop up, use your biggest weapon – your smile. You may just find that what is usually a chaotic atmosphere becomes much more peaceful.
11. Smiling Can Increase Positive Thinking
Have you been trying to think more positive thoughts? Smiling can help! I know that many people believe you must have positive thoughts before you can smile, but the truth is that you can influence your thoughts in a big way simply by your facial expressions. Frowning and scowling brings on the negative thoughts while smiling can help you increase and sustain the positive ones.
You don’t need a study to prove this to you. Simply pick something or someone to focus on, and then put a scowl on your face, as if it has really pissed you off. How are your thoughts towards what you are looking at? I’m going to place a bet and say negative in some way. Now, look at that same thing or person and smile for a few seconds. How do you feel now? Does it look completely different? More likable perhaps?
That’s the power that your facial experiences have on your thoughts. So, it goes without saying that smiling more can increase your positive thoughts. And, the longer you smile, the more positive thoughts you can retain. Since positive thinking is beneficial to everything in your life, including your success, happiness, relationships, and health, I would say that smiling is one powerful tool that you need to (not should) use.
12. Smiling Helps You Seem In Control Of Things
Want people to worry about your ability to handle things? Don’t smile. But, if you want them to be confident in your confidence, then make sure you smile a confident smile when you talk to them. Don’t believe that this works? Check out your favorite actor or public figure and decide how you feel about them with or without a smile.
For instance, take a look at pictures of Kate Middleton and Prince William. When they are smiling, they look like they got everything under control. Even if just one of them is smiling, it gives you confidence that they are on top of their game. I have a feeling that they know this, because it is very hard to find a picture without them smiling. But, when you do, they look less confident in themselves, and it forces your brain to perceive them as less in control of what is going on.
You may not be a public figure, but you are still a figure in a lot of people’s lives. If you want to convince people around you that you have it all under control, then put a smile on combined with a positive stance, and you will put their minds at ease.