You should smile more because it can affect your life in surprising ways.
Smiling isn’t just a way to make you look better in pictures. These important benefits to showing those pearly whites will have you doing it much more often.
Before you take our word for it, read how research proves smiling can be good for you:
1. Smiling 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, try turning that frown upside down.
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 this small facial expression is contagious.
When you smile, it can make others do it too, 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 you want to speak and interact with them.
In a survey for National Smile Month, 80 percent of respondents reported they would be likely to talk to someone if that person smiled at them.
5. Smiling Helps 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 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
There are a lot of things in this world that can bring us down. However, 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 beaming. 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 people to think you are successful, avoid frowning at all costs!
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 versus not, they underestimated the ages of those who appeared happier.
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.
This simple action can retrain your brain to think more positively, make better decisions, and to feel better about life.
11. It Can Boost Productivity
When you’re down in the dumps, it’s difficult to stay motivated to get your work done. However, when you’re smiling, you feel happier, which can improve your productivity. If you are looking for something to do that can boost your creativity, start here!
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.
Don’t overthink it, just do it!
You don’t have to feel like smiling to smile. Go ahead, do it right now. Size doesn’t really matter here. Start with a small grin and then work on making it bigger!
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: Grin from ear to ear and see how far it really takes you.