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What are the benefits of smiling? And, why you should smile more!
Smiling isn’t just a way to make you look better in pictures — there are many more important benefits to showing those pearly whites.
Before you take our word for it, read how research proves smiling can be good for you:
1. It Can Lower Your Stress Levels
When you smile, you trick your mind into thinking that you’re happy. This can turn off the responses your mind dredges up when it thinks there’s a threat nearby. So the next time you’re stressed out, just smile to ease your anxiety.
2. It Can Make Other People Feel Better
Not only does smiling make you feel better about a situation, but it can make other people feel less stressed too. It turns out smiling is contagious. When you smile, it can make others smile, which leads to lower stress levels all around. So, be sure to say cheese often to create a happy atmosphere.
3. Smiling Can Help You Fight Illness
When you’re not so stressed, your immune system doesn’t work in overdrive to fight the perceived threat, which means it can focus on keeping you healthy. Studies have shown that smiling strengthens the immune system and leads to higher white blood cell counts, which wards off illnesses. It’s just what the doctor ordered!
4. People Will Want to Meet You
Whether you want to make new friends or you want to run a successful business, smiling will make you more approachable. Smiling shows people that you want to speak and interact with them. In a survey for National Smile Month, 80 percent of respondents reported that they would be likely to talk to someone if that person smiled at them.
5. It Can Help You Feel More Comfortable in Social Situations
It’s common to feel awkward in some social situations. You may not know anyone or feel as though you are out of place. Smiling can help you feel better in these situations. When you smile, you feel better about yourself — and more comfortable with your situation.
6. People Will Trust You More
A study by the University of Pittsburgh found that participants trusted people more when they smiled. The next time you are in a situation where you want to make a good first impression, flash that charming smile. You may just notice people warm up to you quicker.
7. You’re Less Likely to Suffer From Sadness
When you smile, you release serotonin. A boost in serotonin is a great mood booster and a natural anti-depressant. The best part? There are no nasty side effects!
8. It Makes You Look More Successful
When you think of someone successful, you probably picture someone confidently smiling. That’s because, according to Lily T. Garcia, DDS, smiling can actually make you look more successful.
Think about it: Many people in the business world will flash a smile at a potential or existing client. Why? Because of the happiness and success that smiling hints at. So if you want a smile that screams Hollywood success, avoid anything that could cause it to look less attractive — and make sure you make that smile a big one!
9. It Makes You Look Younger
Researchers have found that smiling can make people look younger. When participants in the study were shown photographs of people who were smiling or not smiling, they underestimated the ages of the smilers. Also, 63 percent of people believe that those who smile in photographs appear more attractive.
10. Smiling Makes You a More Positive Person
The brain often thinks negatively as a defense mechanism, but that negative thinking only has negative consequences. Smiling can turn that all around. It can retrain your brain to think more positively, to make better decisions and to feel better about life.
11. It Can Boost Productivity
When you’re down in the dumps, it can be difficult to stay motivated to get your work done. However, when you’re smiling, you feel happier, which can improve your productivity.
12. You Can Become More Creative
Just as smiling can boost your mood, it can stir up creativity. Studies show that happier people come up with more ways to solve problems. Physiologically, smiling can lead to feeling happy which releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps with learning, processing information and making decisions.
You don’t have to feel like smiling to smile. Go ahead, do it right now. Start with a small smile, and then turn it into a great big grin.
You may feel weird at first, but if you keep it going for long enough, your mind and body will catch on and you’ll start to feel and think differently while improving your health. Go ahead: Smile more and see how far it really takes you.