Reasons to smile more

Most of us smile when we feel happy, content or amused – but did you know smiling in itself has a positive effect on mood? From health to social benefits, here are five reasons to smile more today (whether you feel like it or not!).

1. Smiling is Contagious

Reasons to smile more

Studies show that seeing someone smile activates a part of your brain that controls facial movement, encouraging you to smile back. Even in difficult situations, if you give someone a smile they are likely to reciprocate. Be the smiley person around the office and see how you brighten up the atmosphere.

2. Smiling reduces stress

You may not feel like smiling when you’re stressed or anxious but one study found that participants recovering from a stressful situation had a lower heart rate if they smiled. Next time you experience a particularly stressful moment, take five minutes to yourself in the bathroom and practice smiling in the mirror. You might feel a little odd but you’ll also feel noticeably calmer.

3. You’ll look more attractive

While smiling may make you look more friendly and approachable, scientists reckon it will also make you look more attractive. According to one study published in the European Journal of Social Psychologist, people rated those who smiled at them as more attractive. Smiling lifts the cheeks, brightens the eyes and shows the face in its best light.

4. Strengthen your immune system

Smiling is thought to make the body produce more white blood cells to help fight illness. Researchers found that children in hospital who were visited by entertainers (such as puppeteers and story-tellers) to make them smile had higher white blood cell counts than children who weren’t visited.

5. More trustworthy

There is a theory that people who smile more are seen as more trustworthy by others. In one experiment, participants were asked to say whether they thought people in a selection of photographs were trustworthy or not. The participants rated those smiling as more trustworthy than those with neutral expressions. So, if you’re in a situation at work where you want to seem particularly honest, then make sure you crack a wide, genuine smile.

If you would like to find out more about utilising your body language for success at work and in your personal life, life coaching could help. Find out more about life coaching by visiting our Life Coaching Areas page to browse subjects.

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Written by Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

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