The Power of a Smile

smileA long time ago, I decided that I was going to make a conscious effort to smile whenever I started to feel sad, frustrated or stressed. I wanted to stem the flow of negative emotions created by a poor work situation and bring out more positive, healthy feelings to replace them. The act of smiling, despite not feeling like smiling, seemed to do just that. It’s like that saying, “Fake it ’till you make it.”

When I smiled, it eased my tension and it actually started to make me feel happier. The act of turning my lips up into a smile became a powerful contributor to my mental well-being because it improved my mood during down times. And it turns out that there is research that actually proves that the benefits that I felt from the act of smiling were not imagined! Research has uncovered some great results from making yourself smile. Those results show how the power of a smile can positively impact your mental health and overall well being.

Why does smiling make you feel better?
Research is showing that facial expressions have a direct impact on our emotions and the way we behave. It appears that, when we smile, positive involuntary biological changes occur in our body that help us feel better. It isn’t important why we smile, just that we smile. Research has shown that smiling helps strengthen the immune system, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress enhancing hormones (like cortisone). How much you smile can even be a predictor of longevity.

That doesn’t even touch on the non health related benefits of smiling. It makes you look more confident, successful, younger, positive and makes you more desirable to be around. When you smile, you both feel and look good, making people happier to spend time with you.

The bottom line:
Smiling is free and has no adverse side effects. That makes it the perfect health enhancer. So, the next time you are feeling down, force yourself to smile. It may not solve the underlying problem, but it will make you feel better and improve your mood all while making you healthier. Plus, it’ll make people want to spend more time with you and that’s bound to cheer you up, right?

Source: TED

Comments (2)

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  1. Isabel van Sunder says:

    I am a firm believer on having a smile on my face whenever possible. It doesn’t cost anything and it makes people happy.

  2. Brian says:

    Hi Talli, I really enjoyed this article. I have been telling my friends and family about the power of the smile, but they never understood it right. I love smiling and do it every single day as much as possible.

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