It’s been proven that our body language is intrinsically linked with our mood so it makes sense to smile, even if we’re not feeling happy. Sure, we may feel a little strange when we first begin this practice but these five benefits of smiling are well worth it!
- Smiling reduces physical and emotional stress by relaxing the facial muscles and calming the nervous system. Even if we need to fake it until we make it, a big smile – one that reaches our eyes – prompts the release of those feel-good neurotransmitters that induce a feeling of well-being.
- Smiling increases our connection with the people around us. It’s a contagious, friendly signal that encourages a positive response from friends and strangers alike and it creates a bond, whether momentary or ongoing, that makes the world around us a happier place.
- Smiling actually changes our brain chemistry – intentionally smiling sends a message to our brain to switch to a positive thought and consequently, it elevates our mood. And the great news is, the more we remember to smile, the more we strengthen our neural pathways that create positive thought.
- Smiling keeps us healthy. Studies have found that smiling lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, calms our breathing and relaxes the body which leads to a stronger immune system.
- Smiling is good for our career. Smiling is an effective leadership tool that builds trust, boosts productivity and popularity. Also, people who smile are considered to be more competent!
I see all of the above in action with my mother. Her mouth is always turned upward and she’s naturally very quick to laughter which means she makes friends very quickly and endears her to those who already love her.
Smiling really is a great habit to get into! For more tips to get you smiling, grab a copy of Start Being Happy.