Smiles light up a room. I’ve often heard that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile but smiling makes people feel welcomed. There’s light energy when people are smiling genuine smiles. You can usually spot a fake smile a mile away. Those are the kinds of smiles that make you wonder how quickly you are going to be stabbed in the back by those who are fake. Yet the genuine smiles are the ones that make you feel at ease, appreciated, and special.
There’s a man I know that I used to see his smile frequently. He had a smile that lit up his face. When he frowned, I was bound and determined to change that demeanor. I hated seeing him mope. What I didn’t realize was that he was in a tremendous amount of pain. His actions were trying to smile even when he was finding it difficult to move. We assume a lot when we are in the public. We don’t know the demons that someone is fighting. And when we are fighting those demons, often, we try to smile and nothing comes out except a bland expression or one of pain. It’s not that we don’t want to smile. It’s just sometimes the body says it doesn’t want to cooperate with what our brain tells us.
I have another close friend who has been to hell and back multiple times. If it hasn’t been due to his disability, it’s been that he was falsely accused of a crime he never committed. He had his reputation drug through the wringer and he has spent years getting back on his feet. Yet, you would never know it to look at him. He has a smile that’s contagious. Customers come to his store that he is employed specifically because of the way that he makes others feel. That’s a gift. It’s rare and precious but it’s a testament to how smiling even when we are dealing with our drama can be healing.
We all have things in our lives that have caused grief, pain, turmoil, frustration, confusion, and unhealthy energy. But smiling has been proven to change the mood of not just yourself but others around you. Here are some of the best things about smiling.
Smiling Relieves Stress
It’s been proven that smiling relieves stress. Did you know that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile? Maybe that’s why when we aren’t smiling we tend to be more frustrated. Frowning can weigh us down in more ways than one.
Smiling Elevates Our Mood
When I’m around people who are smiling and happy, I get happier. It’s common sense that if you surround yourself with those who are filled with positive energy, that’s what you will receive in return. Don’t let other’s negative energy take away your ability to smile.
Smiling Is Contagious
I love this statement because it’s true! Whenever I am around people that are frowning or in a bad mood it rubs off on me. When I’m around people who are always smiling I can’t help but smile back.
The part of your brain that is responsible for your controlling the facial expression of smiling is an unconscious automatic response area. Meaning that smiling can be completely unconscious, particularly when it comes to our habit of mimicking another person’s smile. Yes, it is scientifically proven that smiles are “contagious!”
Smiling Boosts Your Immune System
When we are happier, our bodies tend to do better. The next item talks about helping with the blood pressure but the more we take care of ourselves mentally, the better opportunities we have to take care of ourselves physically. It is thought that when you smile, immune function improves because you are more relaxed (thanks to the release of certain neurotransmitters).
Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure
When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
Smiling Makes Us Feel Good
Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together these three neurotransmitters make us feel good from head to toe. Not only do these natural chemicals elevate your mood, but they also relax your body and reduce physical pain. Smiling is a natural drug.
Smiling Makes You Look Younger
Not only can smiling make you more attractive it can also make you look more youthful. The muscles we use to smile also lift the face, making a person appear younger. So instead of opting for a facelift, just try smiling your way through the day—you’ll look younger and feel better.
Smiling Makes You Seem Successful
Studies have shown that people who smile regularly appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and are more likely to be approached. Try putting on a smile at meetings and business appointments. You might find that people react to you differently. I used to believe differently. There were some folks that I knew that this didn’t seem to apply but a vast majority of the time, smiling exudes confidence which in turn, makes professional circles want you in their pocket.
Smiling Helps You Stay Positive
Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard, isn’t it? I tried it several times. I failed at it a few times but I’m getting better about it.
Even when a smile feels unnatural or forced, it still sends the brain and ultimately the rest of our body the message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress, and worry by smiling.
There are always going to be things in life that make us not feel like smiling. But people watch us whether we like to admit it or not. It’s up to all of us to help spread joy to others. We can’t do it by frowning and moping. All we can do is keep lifting each other up and pushing each other to be the best versions of ourselves possible. The rest is semantics. No matter what is dragging you down, I hope you all never lose the beautiful smiles you all possess. There is nothing better than the gift of smiles, love, and kindness. Something tells me that each of you makes a difference with everyone around you.