“the expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.” – Dale Carnegie
If you were to ask someone who knows me to describe who I am, undoubtedly one of the first things that they will say is that I am a continually happy or ‘smiley’ person. This is something that I always laugh about as it has been mentioned many times throughout my life! The good thing is I’m not complaining as a smile has a tonne of benefits to your overall wellbeing.
Smiling is number 2 on the list of the 43 Habits of Absolutely Happy People. If you can turn smiling into a habit, then you can turn happiness into a habit… let’s explore!
1) You’re More Attractive!
Do you want to be more attractive? Simple. Smile! Research has proven that we find others more attractive when they are wearing a smile. This one is a no-brainer, but for the sake of helping it land in your mind, think about someone who you know and think of first when they are down, sad, angry, frustrated, whatever it may be. How attractive are they? Now picture them simply with a smile on their face. What does this do to their attractiveness? If you took the time to do this exercise, I’m sure you would have easily found the smiling version much more attractive, and maybe this even made you feel a happy tingle inside yourself! This leads to my next point.
2) You Can CHANGE THE WORLD! A Smile is Contagious!
Have you ever been in a sour mood and then someone has come along with a huge smile, some laughter or in a really good mood? Perhaps a baby that just looked up at you and smiled? How did this make you feel? When the person you are talking to or the people that surround you are smiling, you won’t be able to help but smile!
A smile has special powers. You can calm fear, insecurity, hurt and anxiety not only in yourself, but in those that are experiencing those feelings. The next time someone is feeling sad, scared, nervous, whatever it may be, smile with them and see how this makes them feel!
Even 2Pac, the rap legend that passed away realised the benefits of smiling, in his lyrics to ‘Power of a Smile’ he raps:
The power of a gun can kill, and the power of fire can burn
The power of wind can chill, and the power of mind can learn
The power of anger, can raise inside until it tears you apart
But the power of a smile, especially yours, can heal a frozen heart
A smile is a contagious thing. Give to the world and the world will give back to you. Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you. You will brighten the days of those around and make a difference in their lives… simply by smiling!
3) Grow Old Sexily!
Wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles! Something that we all don’t want to have, however it is something that comes to us all leaving permanent marks of our emotional feelings throughout life. Smiling throughout life will NOT mean you won’t get wrinkles… I wish it did! It WILL however mean that you will have permanent marks of happiness and when you speak with those later in life, you will automatically be smiling!
You also use fewer muscles to smile than you do for frowning. Hopefully you’re smiling now as you read this, but if not, smile now! … Now that you have tried smiling, try and frown. Which one do you think is easier? I would definitely say smiling is the easier of the two, and therefore stretching your muscles and skin less throughout life to grow old sexily!
4) Simply Feel Good!
When you’re smiling, no doubt you’re having a much better time than when you’re not! Smiling simply makes you feel better!
Research has shown that smiling releases serotonin – a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It’s like a circle of happiness. Smile and you feel happy, you feel happy and you smile! Even when you’re not feeling great, try smiling, genuinely, and see how you feel!
5) Build Better, Faster Relationships!
Smiling is such a key ingredient for establishing healthy and genuine friendships. When someone is smiling at you it indicates that they like you. When someone likes you what do you think of them? Yep, normally you’re thinking “wow, I like this person!” Smiling also offers encouragement to the person that you are talking to. Think about it, if someone is smiling at you while you are talking to them, you feel as though they are totally into what you are saying, encouraging you to keep going!
Smiling is crucial when it comes to first impressions. Smiling when you first meet someone will indicate to the other person that you are genuinely happy to see them and that you are a positive person. These impressions will be lasting on the other person so definitely not one to miss!
6) Enhance your Business!
Business deals can be made simply through smiling. One of the first things that sales people quickly learn is to smile. Who would you rather buy something from? The sales rep that looks bored, down, angry, frustrated or whatever it may be, or from the sales rep that is simply smiling and happy to see you? The messages that they convey in conversation will link back to how they are feeling. A smiling person would be much more enthusiastic for the product and instil positive feelings in the buyer.
Even telesales have got a hold on this. Now sales reps that are on the other side of the phone are encouraged to smile when they talk as the smile is conveyed in how the person is talking!
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It can’t be that hard, can it?
2) Visualise your happiest moments
A number of people will say that they find it hard to smile due to circumstances in their life. Research has shown that our thoughts and feelings influence our behaviours. As this is the case, I encourage you to close your eyes and think of the moments that have made you laugh and smile. How does this make you feel? These visualization exercises are great for helping you smile.
3) Just do it!
Further research has now flipped the above completely on its head and suggested that our behaviours can actually influence our thoughts and feelings! As this is the case, I encourage you to JUST DO IT! Simply forcing a smile will give you the benefits of the above. Stand up straight, work on your posture, smile to the world and ‘fake it till you make it’! It WILL work!
Check out this fantastic video on TED, spoken by Ron Gutman who provides some fascinating insights into the power of smiling!