A few weeks ago I was walking down the street and across the road was a lady in her 30s, possibly early 40s riding along the pavement on an adult scooter. You know the ones, like the ones all the kids are on, but bigger. She looked to be having great fun. It made me smile. She saw me smiling and smiled back at me. And you know what, a smile from a complete stranger made me feel great.
Smiling is a very powerful act and can have many positive effects on you and others around you.
Smiling makes you more attractive. The more you smile the more attractive your face looks. It also activates other people’s sensory rewards which makes you attractive in their eyes.
It has a positive effect on mood. Smiling and laughing releases endorphins (the same hormone that’s released when you exercise) that decrease stress and anxiety.
Just like the lady on the scooter who smiled at me, it makes others feel better. Smiling is contagious. When you see others do something, your brains simulates you doing the same thing. So when you smile at someone, the part of their brain that controls smiling is instantly activated, and they are very likely to smile.
Smiling makes you more approachable. It is an inviting expression. Who would you go to talk to the person with a nice smile or the one with the grumpy scowl? I am not an incredibly smiley person, but I am a fun loving person and that may be why I am very regularly asked for directions. It either that or I look like I know where I am going!
It takes more energy to defy that feeling of a smile, and why the hell would you do that?
Your brain does not know the difference between a fake or real smile. Obviously a fake one is not as much fun as a real one, but try it. Go on. Try it right now. Put a big, fat, cheesy smile on your face. From ear to ear. How do you feel? You feel instantly better, right?
Smiles are free and you can do it as many time as you like a day.
Smile. It looks good on you.