Smiling is simple but so powerful! It is recognized worldwide as one of the reasons for happiness and a good mood, so we all need someone to cheer us up and make us smile.
The smile is the symbol of the most positive content, and it is even scientifically proven that it can stimulate our brain mechanisms even more than a bar of chocolate, which is known as one of the biggest pleasure inducers.
Why Is A Smile Powerful And How Does It Affect Others?
Smiling comes naturally, but there are more things that you should realize and are going on behind the scenes.
Smiles are so powerful when we see someone else smiles, it will make your brain release feel-good hormones, including endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, and it will make you smile too! Indeed, this will boost your mood, and the feedback of good vibes continues to all people you meet during the day.
It also affects how other people see us because people always relate smiling to positive emotions like contentment or happiness.
Smiling can be involuntary as a response to some situations in life that make you smile, but it can also be conscious and intentional and can act on you in many different positive ways and offer many benefits for your health, your work, and the people around you. Here are some of them, though not all:
Smiling Improves Relationship And Makes Strong Bonds
You have better relationships
Everyone knows that a smile is a symbol of kindness, and it can promote friendship and enhance social bonds. It also strengthens the relationship and promotes closeness and social support.
One study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that when laughter is shared, it is a good indicator of relationship well-being in romantic couples. (1)
You are more approachable
In a social context, smiling makes strong bonds in a group and among individuals. Smiling is contagious, and this is backed up by science. In fact, one neuroscientist from the University College of London says smiling is a mirroring behavior and mimicking gesture, so when you smile at people, they smile back. (2)
Benefits Of Smiling In The Workplace
You’re more productive and confident at work
When you are happy, you are more productive, and you have a greater performance at work. This means a higher income and faster promotion at your workplace.
One study from the University of Pittsburgh has even found that smiling can be associated with the positive judgment of trustworthiness in women. (3)
So, smiles make you more confident, approachable, and trustworthy as a person, and you will be more appreciated by your colleagues.
It will make you a better leader
Smiling is a nice way of communicating with your employees when you manage them. When you smile more often, your employees feel more at ease, which leads to better and more positive company culture.
Do not over-smile at work
But, keep in mind that you shouldn’t over smile at work as it can be off-putting, and you will be perceived as naïve compared to others who do not smile very often.
It can also confuse people coming from different cultures such as Japan, India, South Korea, and other cultures where smiling is not as acceptable as a social norm.
6 Proven Health Benefits Of Smiling
We all know laughter is the best medicine and it is also scientifically proven, so here are 10 benefits of smiling for your psychological and physical health:
1. Smiling boost your immune system
With the ongoing pandemics, having a strong immune system is a great necessity. Increased stress will lower your immune system, but, on the contrary, laughter may raise the antibodies that fight infections and increase the immunity cells in your body, and you will be less prone to diseases.
2. Reduce the risk of heart disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and high blood pressure is one of the leading factors. When you smile, your heart rate and your blood pressure may increase, but soon after that, they drop and you feel more relaxed.
Even though one study found that there are many psychological benefits of smiling on stress and positively affects cardiovascular responses to stress, still, more research is needed to show how it can lower the blood pressure in adults. (4)
3. Reduces stress and alleviates mood
When you smile, the feel-good hormones called endorphins are released and they can elevate your mood and relax your body. While smiling, our facial muscles are flexed, and this movement informs our brain that we smile, and he, in turn, releases endorphins. This is known as the facial feedback hypothesis, which states that our facial expressions can affect our emotions, so smiling can make us feel happy when we start feeling sad.
4. Increases the athletic performance
When we speak about athletic performance, the most important part of it is the perceived exertion, which measures the intensity of the physical activity and how hard your body is working.
According to one study, runners who smiled more often during their training used less energy, so next time you do some physical workout, listen to some funny podcasts and see whether this helps you with your training. (5)
5. Smiling can reduce pain
One study from the University of California reported that the endorphins that are released from our bodies when we smile are pain killers, and a real smile on your face may decrease a needle injection by 40%.
So, next time when you are in some sort of pain, put a smile on your face, it may actually help you to ease the pain. (6)
6. Smiling makes you live longer
Maybe one of the biggest reasons why you should smile is that it may help you live longer. Some studies found that happiness may improve the quality of your life and contribute to living a healthy life, which consequently leads to having a longer life. (7)
What Does Smiling Do To Your Brain?
In addition, when we smile, this sends signals to our brain to start releasing neuropeptides. They are small proteins that can help ease stress. According to a study from the University of Kansas, they can help people recover easily after a stressful situation. (8)
Smiling releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, which decreases anxiety and you feel happier and more relaxed.
What Does Smiling Do To Your Face?
Your face looks heathier when you smile, compared to a neutral expression, one study says.
Smiling makes you look healthier
The study also found that this increases with age, so older adults look even healthier when they smile compared to young people. In addition, a happy expression is even more important than skin coloration, which is considered to be one of the main cues for health judgments. (9)
Why do smiling faces look healthier?
It is just a consequence of positive affect, which states that smiling is a very positive character trait, and you can have a happier and longer life just by being optimistic and cheerful.
Smiling makes you look more attractive
According to one study, smiling can make you feel more positive and attractive expression, making you look younger, more social, and more approachable compared to people with neutral facial expressions. (10)
So, there is scientific proof that smiling is the best accessory, so put a smile on your face whenever you go and do it no matter how you feel!
Smiling makes the world a better place!
Smiling makes bonds, makes other people happy, and makes you and others feel good. It is a small gesture but means so much for this world, so smile more to make it a better living place!
Ana Miller is a creative writer. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.