One of our recent posts was about The Power of Positive Thinking, which stemmed from a some of the principles behind "The Secret". In the book/film The Law of Attraction, it was demonstrated how when one person smiles at another it is nearly impossible for them not to return a smile back. This got us thinking about how powerful and magical a single smile can be.
So, why not pave your own way to happiness? Here are just a few reasons why you should keep on smiling, even on days when you might not feel like doing it:
Smiling makes you more creative
A 2013 study from the University of California, San Francisco found that those who were happier had a more comprehensive approach to problems, improving their ability to find more solutions to problems or situations than their negative-minded counterparts. The science behind smiling found that this was connected to the release of dopamine from neurotransmitters involved in learning, processing and decision-making abilities.
Smiling helps reduce stress
A 2012 study by the University of Kansas found that those who smiled while performing stressful tasks had lower heart rates than those that didn't. Although this is research that requires more testing, it is suggested that smiling might reduce levels of cortisol, which is a stress-related hormone.
Smiling makes you seem more trustworthy and makes you more approachable
According to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, the bigger your smile, the more trustworthy you appear to be, while a 2004 Penn State University study found that smiling employees came across as more likable and friendly, leaving customers feeling more satisfied with their overall experience.
Smiling retrains your brain to be more positive
The act of smiling alone puts your brain in a more positive state and the creation of happiness loops encourage more positive-thinking patterns. A positive circle of happiness!
Smiling can improve your mood
Smiling isn't just a result of a positive mood - it can be the cause of one. Although feelings and emotions originate in the brain, the muscles in the face either reinforce or transform those feelings. By practicing an outer state of happiness (especially when we aren't feeling that way internally), our moods will begin to align strongly with the emotion that our face is communicating.
Smiling may strengthen your body on a cellular level
Not only does smiling release tension in the body overall, it has the potential to do so on a cellular level. Our cells are able to distinguish between safety and danger, find and repair problems and create balance in the body, and our thoughts have a direct effect on cell function. When we smile, we reduce the rigidness of our cells, thereby reducing the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to a number of different ailments.
And the most awesome thing of all about smiles? They are FREE!