March 3, 2015

You Won't Believe What Smiling Can Do!

Do you do it often? How often do you think you smile? Kids do it 400 times a day. You may smile up to 20 times a day, but it is more likely you do it less than seven times a day.

Smiling is something you can increase doing immediately that has broad implications for your personal health, the quality of your relationships, and the level of your performance.

A genuine, authentic smile is powerful! It is what researchers call a Duchenne smile.

A smile is so powerful it can provide the same brain stimulation as 2,000 chocolate bars or receiving $16,000. A smile is so magnetic, it makes you more attractive and likable, and people will even perceive you to be more competent.

Smiling can be the difference between success and failure.

Holiday Inn was looking for 500 people to fill positions in a new facility. The initial screening brought in 5,000 candidates. The managers interviewing these people excluded all candidates who smiled fewer than four times during the interview regardless of the job they were interviewing for. 

Smiling can be one of the best ways to exercise your brain according to Dr. Andrew Newberg. In his book, How God Changes Your Brain, Newberg says,

“Smiling can interrupt mood disorders and strengthen the brain’s neural ability to maintain a positive outlook on life.”

The power of smiling has been broadly researched and applied.

There are a variety of studies that measure well-being and success from the positive emotions created by smiling, based on examining the smiles of people in pictures from yearbooks to baseball cards. By measuring the smiles from these photographs researchers were able to predict test performance, marriage success, longevity, and inspirational impact.

One of these studies, by researchers at Wayne State University, explored the impact of smile intensity on longevity by looking at baseball card pictures, of pre-1950’s Major League baseball players. Controlling for other factors that affect lifespan the researchers found that players who flashed a smile lived nearly eight years longer than players who didn’t smile.

A smile is a universal currency that is free to share and receive.

When researcher Dr. David Lewis, author of The Secret Language of Success, was asked about the powerful benefits of smiling he said,

“Smiling triggers powerful emotions that change our brain chemistry. Smiling creates what is termed a ‘halo’ effect that helps us remember other happy events more vividly, feel more optimistic, more positive and more motivated."

The number of times we smile starts falling off between the ages of 15 and 25 according to Dr. Marianne LaFrance, author of Why Smile? So, you have to work at developing your smile and using it.

Here are six benefits from the power of smiling.

  • You’ll be perceived as more likable, courteous, and competent.
  • It reduces stress and increases your personal sense of well-being.
  • It stimulates your brain.
  • It is contagious and will positively impact the people you come in contact with every day.
  • It can improve your health, your marriage, and your performance.
  • And why not enjoy the same stimulation as 2,000 chocolate bars!

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

— Mother Teresa

Test it out. You will be amazed at what happens when you genuinely greet people with a smile and share your smile with people you encounter during your day. Put the power of smiling to the test.

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