There are a lot of good reasons to smile: For starters, it tells people when you’re in a good mood. It also puts people you meet at ease, suggesting that you’re a nice, friendly person.
Recent scientific research reveals that the simple act of smiling is actually good for you. It makes you feel better and improves your health.
So go ahead and smile. It will make you happier, healthier, and more attractive to others. It can even make you look younger.
When you smile, it causes your brain to release chemicals called endorphins. This is a type of neurotransmitter that helps your central nervous system deal with pain or stress. In addition to relieving physical pain, endorphins also boost happiness.
When you’re feeling stressed, a simple smile will help you relax, even if you’re faking it. Research demonstrates that even your fake smile will still trigger your brain to release endorphins
Scientists at the University of Kansas came up with a clever way to prove that a forced smile can improve your physical response to stress. They conducted an experiment where subjects were told to force themselves to smile using chopsticks while they performed a demanding task.
Afterward, the people with the forced, chopstick smiles had lower overall heart rates than research subjects who performed the same task without forcing a smile.
Your smile tells people that you’re friendly and approachable. When you smile at people, about half of them smile back. Smiling really is contagious.
The more you smile, the more goodwill you’ll spread to those around you. Researchers at Penn State University found that customer service representatives who smile more often are rated as being both friendlier and more effective by customers.
Smiling will even make you look better. According to surveys, both men and women are rated as more attractive when they smile.
Smiling also makes you appear more youthful. By lifting the muscles in your face, smiling can help you look up to three years younger on average.
Dr. Michael Kirsch
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