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The Power of Your Smile

The Power of Your Smile

Melissa R. Rich, Ph.D.

I don’t know about you but I remember my Mom always telling us to smile – especially after they spent so much money on braces for their 5 children! But, as usual, Mom was right. Smiling is good for other people AND for us.

Here are some reasons we should all smile:

  • We are hardwired to be attracted to people who smile. Seeing a smiling face activates positive energy in our brains – so we associate that person with positive energy.

  • Believe it or not, smilers are more productive. Research shows that people who smile are measurably more creative and productive on their jobs. Those things can lead to promotions and bigger salaries – bet you’re smiling now!

  • Smiling is contagious. How often do you smile when someone smiles at you? You’re not alone; so look happy and spread the joy!

  • People who smile appear more approachable. In a study from Penn State, employees who smiled came across as more likable and friendly – as well as more competent.

  • Smiling not only makes you look happy, it makes you happier. When we smile our brains release endorphins which lower stress and improves our mood. If we smile during not so happy situations our brains don’t know the difference so we still end up feeling happier. Worth a shot.

The reason this all works is that our facial expressions not only let others know how we feel, they can influence our moods as well.

When our expressions are positive, our brains start to align our mood to match the emotions our face is showing – whether the mood is genuine or faked.

Here’s one last fact that is my personal favorite. Smiling regularly helps our mind become more positive – and this continues the longer we do it. By smiling on a daily basis we help our brains create happiness loops that help us become more positive thinkers and feelers. Cool!

In my mind smiling is the least expensive, and one of the most effective, forms of therapy available. So if you want an instant mood boost, turn up the corners of your mouth and get that grin going – you’ll be glad you did!

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