The Benefits of Smiling
Smiling is a fantastic way to make a nice first impression. It’s also really good for you. Research demonstrates that smiling more often can make you happier, healthier, more approachable, more attractive, and even more successful.
Smiling Makes You Feel Better
Smiling doesn’t just make you appear to be happier — it will actually make you feel better. That’s because the simple act of smiling causes your brain to release neurotransmitters called endorphins. Endorphins trigger feelings of comfort and wellbeing.
Pain and stress automatically trigger the release of endorphins, but you can also cause the release of endorphins by simply forcing yourself to smile, even when you really don’t feel like it.
Smiling Makes You Healthier
In addition to making you happier, the release of endorphins caused by smiling enhances your physical health. Researchers at the University of Kansas came up with a clever way to demonstrate the health benefits of smiling.
Participants in the study forced themselves to smile using chopsticks. Then they were asked to complete a stressful and demanding task. Afterward, they were found to have lower blood pressure and lower heart rates compared to participants who performed the same task without using the chopsticks.
Smiling Makes You More Attractive and Approachable
When given the choice, most of us prefer to be around someone who’s happy. A smile spreads feelings of goodwill and makes the people around you feel better. That’s just common sense, but it’s also supported by science.
If you smile, people won’t just think you’re friendlier, they’ll also consider you to be more effective. That’s what researchers at Penn State University found out by interviewing people who encountered customer service employees. It’s not always easy to maintain a good mood when you’re dealing with frustrated customers all day, but smiling more often will help.
Smiling will also make you more attractive. When people are asked to look at pictures of others, they consistently rate the people as being more attractive when they smile. Smiling can even give you a more youthful appearance. In one study, people who were judged to be three years younger just by smiling.
Smiling for Success
Smiling doesn’t just help you look younger and more attractive — it can even add to your financial success. Smiling often increases your social capital by creating positive feelings in those around you. This will make you likely to earn more money during your lifetime.