Those who work with me also know I encourage others to smile too. Particularly when they don’t feel like it. Sounds weird? Well, it can feel a bit weird too but the fact is that the body and mind responds in such positive ways to the physical action of smiling that it’s often when we least feel like, because we’re worried, stressed or feel down, that a smile can really help lift your mood and allow you to get on with things more constructively and start feeling a bit better. I’ve even been known to lie with my head on my pillow in the middle of the night smiling to myself. I may look like a dork but whatever was worrying me tends to reduce and I’m soon drifting back off to sleep.
Of course, if you smile more often in the first place, that might have prevented some of those negative emotions coming along at all, so certainly don’t wait for the stress or worry to kick in before you start smiling. If you’re not a natural ‘smiler’ it’ll need to be deliberate at first and over time it’ll become just what you do naturally. It’s like any other habit – it needs to be practiced to become one.
In case you’re not convinced yet, below are some great reasons to get smiling.
1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive We find people who smile more attractive and we like to be near them. We are attracted to them and of course a smiling person is likely to be better company than a grumpy one. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away – but a smile draws them in.
2. Smiling Changes Our Mood Next time you feel down or anxious, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.
3. Smiling Is Contagious When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you. Saying that, if someone doesn’t smile back at you, don’t take it personally. It’s rarely about you and they’re own ‘stuff’ might even be getting in the way of them noticing your smile.
4. Smiling Relieves Stress Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to make decisions and take action.
5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.
6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.
8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better. And fine lines from smiling are way more attractive than the ones from frowning!
9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.
10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!”Stay away from stress and worry by smiling.
So start or continue enjoying your own smiles. As well as that of those around you.