Tony Bennett said it best – “Wipe off that full of doubt look, slap on a happy grin!” Mr. Bennett knew this age-old advice couldn’t be more accurate. Not only does smiling take less muscular energy than frowning, but evidence also suggests that simply smiling can boost your mood and your long-term well-being. Let’s learn why!
4 Reasons to Smile More
- Smiling Results in a Surge of Feel-Good Hormones (More than Chocolate!) Yes, you heard correctly. According to a British study about pleasure inducers, one smile can produce the same level of stimulation in your brain as eating up to 2,000 chocolate bars. Save the calories and expose those pearly whites!
- People Respond Positively to Smiles. It’s true, smiles are contagious! When we see a happy face, it triggers the cingulate cortex, the part of our brain that delivers unconscious reactions. Spreading good vibes by smiling can impact those around you while brightening your day.
- Smiling Can Make You Live Longer. A 2010 Wayne State University research project suggests that smiling can add years to your life! The study analyzed pre-1950’s baseball cards and found that players who were smiling in their pictures lived an average of about 80 years, while players lacking a grin lived nearly 7 years less!
- Smiling Can Reduce Stress. According to a recent study from the University of Kansas, smiling during times of stress can benefit your heart health. The study monitored volunteers’ hearts as they completed tasks holding a genuine smile, a fake smile, and a neutral expression. Those with a neutral expression had a higher heart rate than those who held a fake smile!
Forced Smiles Have Benefits Too!
“Fake it ‘til you make it” can sometimes go a long way. Forcing a smile still has benefits to increasing your well-being! Take it from wise Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hanh, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.