“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh
One of the simplest ways to improve your appearance is by smiling. It is a free and easy way to improve your mood and your health. An added benefit is that it will make people around you feel better too!
Why should you smile more often? Studies have show that whether we are actually feeling happy, or not, the act of smiling can make us feel better. Psychologist Robert Zajonc theorized that smiling reduces the amount of blood flow to the brain, thus making the brain cooler. A cooler brain is a more positive brain and that makes us emotionally happier. This isn’t a new idea. Darwin, back in the 1870’s felt that our facial expressions weren’t always the result of having an emotion but could instead cause us to feel the emotion. So smile when you are happy or smile when you want to feel happier, it works both ways!
Smiles are universal. You don’t need to speak the same language as someone else to be affected by their smile. You don’t need to know anything about them as a person, their politics, their religion or background. When we smile at one another all of those differences disappear. We all recognize and respond to the happiness a smile brings. Smiles are so natural that babies are giving genuine smiles (a smile that involves the eye muscles) by 6 to 8 weeks of age.
Smiling makes you feel better not only emotionally but also physically. Smiles cause a release of neurotransmitters in your brain. They can help lower your stress, make you feel more connected with others, help lower your blood pressure and lessen depression. What a great inexpensive to improve your health.
Want an easy way to make others feel better? Smile at them. Smiles are contagious and when someone is on the receiving end of a genuine smile, they can’t help but to smile too. So now you are not only making yourself healthier you are contributing to the well being of others. The person you smile at will also perceive you as being more attractive and the upward pull of the muscles in your face give you a “mini facelift” causing you to appear younger. A true win-win.
Practice smiling more throughout the day. Find a trigger, something you know you will see or do several times a day, and smile when the trigger occurs. It could be that every time you see the color red you will smile. Maybe, you will smile when your phone rings. (Did you know that research has shown that people can hear the smile in your tone of voice even when they can’t see you?). Whatever your trigger is, start making it a habit to smile more each day and begin to reap the benefits of this simple and effective way to feeling and looking better.