There are plenty of good reasons to smile. It makes a great first impression and it’s also a nice way to help break down barriers between people. Smiling is contagious, and it creates a chain reaction of good feelings. Smiling more often will benefit your career and your social life. And now there’s even scientific evidence that smiling is good for you.
Smiling more often will actually improve your mood and make you healthier. That’s because the simple act of smiling causes your brain to release neurotransmitters called endorphins. Often referred to as “nature’s natural painkillers,” the release of endorphins is triggered by your brain in times of stress or trauma.
In addition to making you feel happy, endorphins also reduce tension and enhance your immune system. A smile releases endorphins even when you’re consciously faking it. A study conducted by the University of Kansas had participants use chopsticks to force themselves to smile while they performed a demanding task. When tested, they were demonstrated to have lower overall heart rates than participants who performed the same task without using the chopsticks.
Smiling doesn’t just enhance your current mood — it can also improve your attitude. As you smile more often, having positive feelings becomes a habit. Over time, this can actually have the effect of “breaking the brain’s natural tendency to think negatively.”
When you smile, about half of the people you see will smile back. Smiling spreads feelings of goodwill and improves the mood of those around you. If you smile more often, people will naturally assume that you’re more friendly and outgoing. This increases feelings of empathy and makes people want to be around you.
There’s a lot of research that demonstrates how people who smile are seen as friendlier and more attractive to others. For example, a study conducted by Penn State University found that customers rate service industry employees who smile more often as being friendlier and more effective. There’s even a study that suggests smiling will make you look three years younger on average.
Smiling doesn’t just make you healthier, happier, and more attractive. It can also enhance your career. By increasing feelings of trust in those around you, smiling will improve all your relationships, including your professional ones. That’s why people who smile more often can expect to earn more money over the course of their careers.
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