“CHEESE!” Today, we are all about smiling….

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness” – William Arthur Ward

Smile may well be a small word, yet it holds the power to change a huge amount for any individual it is said to and acted upon. A smile acts as a message of positivity, hope and happiness. Going around the room as a generous gesture, it cheers up the moods of everyone with it’s contagious nature. An instant mood lifter, it is also an amazing tool for healing.

Smiling is known to have many surprising physical and psychological benefits as well. Many of the studies conducted around the world have proved these benefits.

Smiling Relieves Stress

A study ( https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120730150113.htm ) by a team of psychologists from the University of Kansas found that smiling can not only help you avoid looking tired and overwhelmed but also help relieve stress. A smile is a great way to take your mind off the things which may have been bothering you. Smiling can really reduce stress even if you don’t feel like smiling or know that you are smiling.

When you think you are feeling stressed out, smile. It is always a good way to keep up the spirits high and start or accelerate the healing process.

Smiling puts you in a good mood

It’s proven! Want to get out of a bad mood? Smile! Smiling puts you in a good mood. Even study suggests that forcing a smile may improve your mood. According to researcher, Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, at the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning at the University of South Australia, the physical act of smiling not only created internal positive feelings, but also push us to see the world around in a more positive way2.

 “By sharing a kind smile, a kind word, a kind hug, you are lifting up others and thus lifting up the world.” – Carol CC Miller

Not only do you release endorphins when you smile but you also brighten your outlook. So turn any frown upside down and put a smile on your face! Your mood will brighten and you will look more approachable!

Smiling creates a great first impression

A smile is what makes you look more attractive. Studies have shown that people who wear a smile look more attractive. Naturally, we are drawn to people who put on a smile. According to research by Michael R. Cunningham, features such as large eyes, high eyebrows, and a large smile make men and women appear more attractive and contribute to a halo effect concerning qualities such as personality traits and altruism.

In fact, there is a physical attraction element connected to the act of smiling. In contrast, negative or severe facial expressions such as scowl, frown, and grimaces push people away. Use the power of a smile to draw people’s attention and look more attractive.

Smiling helps relieve pain

Smiling and laughing reduces body aches and pains. A recent study ( https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2020-88213-001 ) conducted by the University of California, Irvine School of Ecology found that both smiling and grimacing could reduce the sensation of pain associated with a “vaccination-like needle injection.” Very topical right now!

“Smiling is the best way to face any problem, to crush every fear and to hide every pain.” – Unknown

Smiling release endorphins in the body which are also known as the feel-good chemical of the body. This is why it is often said laughter is the best medicine.

Smiling reduces blood pressure

Some studies reveal that smiling increases the heart rate initially but eventually relaxes the heart muscles thus leading to better health and lower blood pressure.

“Life isn’t just about getting lemons out of it. An unexpected turn and a kind smile warms you up on the coldest of days.”― Sijdah Hussain

When you will have blood pressure at the right level, you will get an immunity boost and more immune cells, antibodies which fight infections and thus increasing the ability to fight diseases.

Smiling makes you feel good

When you smile, you undoubtedly have a better time as compared to when you are not smiling. The act of smiling simply makes you feel good. A major review of studies ( https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190412094728.htm ) has shown that smiling causes the release of serotonin that is a neurotransmitter which gives rise to the feeling of wellbeing and happiness. It’s like a closed loop, a smile makes you happy and you feel happy when you smile.

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Smiling is contagious

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

You can catch smiling like flu, it is infectious. You may notice that if someone smiled at you, you probably smiled back. Smiling is contagious like a virus that spreads from one person to another.

While smiling is indeed a beautiful sentiment, it brings an intimation of truth. Smiling has not only the power to boost your mood but also has a positive impact on the other’s mood and makes them feel happy.

The part of the brain that controls your smiling facial expressing is an uncontrollable automatic response area which means that the act of smiling is entirely unconscious mainly in terms of our habit of mimicking another person’s smile. The simile is proven to be contagious scientifically.

Final Thoughts The benefits aren’t just limited to an individuals. It can impact the surroundings and communities as well. Right from schools to hospitals to old age homes and to workplaces; smiling helps everyone in many ways which we do not realise. The experience in itself is wonderful. One smile and the air in the surroundings feel different. The stressful environment’s effect on the brain is taken over by the happiness one experiences just by smiling.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs, by the Supernaturals, enjoy….


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