Smile a bit more. As corny as it sounds. Smiling is something that we often take for granted, but it can have a tremendous impact on not only our lives, but the lives of others.
Researcher, Andrew Newberg, has a study in which a smile is rated as the highest symbol for positive emotional content. When the smiling muscles in our face contract there’s positive feedback that is sent to the brain for you to express joy, and in return your brain sends signals to the rest of your body that you are actually happy and experiencing joy. It’s this cyclical event that just keeps going around and around. So the more you smile the happier and more joyful you’ll be.
And to touch on this a bit further, there is a famous yearbook smile study that shows how a simple smile can affect you long-term.
“By measuring the smiles in the photographs the researchers
were able to predict: how fulfilling and long-lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardised tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest
in all of the above.”
And for you baseball fans, there is the Wayne State University study that used baseball cards and players’ smiles to determine how long they would live.
“The study found that the span of a player’s smile could actually predict the span of his life! Players who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, while players
with beaming smiles lived an average of 79.9 years.”
Smiles convey a sense of trust. They can influence how you feel, or how others feel, about social slip-ups or blunders. Smiles can even get you some leniency if you get yourself into some trouble. Plus they’re contagious. Spend a few moments with the happiest person you know, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear in no time.