7 Super Benefits Of Smiling More

Your million-dollar smile has endless rewards.

Oct 18, 2019

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If there’s one thing we inherently know, it’s that smiles are contagious and can brighten someone’s entire day. You don’t need to feel joyful or burst out laughing to spread the good vibes around.

Smiling is just as much a conscious decision as it is reactionary according to Very well Mind. And although it may seem like a tiny action, smiling can actually improve your mood for the rest of the day. From boosting your health to making you seem more trustworthy to others, check out these seven ways to share a grin with others.

Smiling is contagious 

Why not improve your mood and someone else’s at the same time? When we smile, others will return the gesture. This is thanks to the body possessing mirror neurons, cells in the premotor cortex and inferior parietal cortex that engage when we either take a certain action or watch someone else take it. Thankfully, smiling is one of those actions. 

It boosts your creativity

Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco found that positive thinkers were more able to think of creative solutions to challenges more than those who find themselves trapped in the negative. According to the research, happiness releases dopamine, which allows you to have more control over your mind and also boosting decision-making, learning, and processing. 

It is a natural stress reliever

Smiling can relieve stress. Psychologists from the University of Kansas enlisted 169 college student volunteers to test whether smiling made them happier. In the experiments, students were told to perform various tasks that involved either neutral, normal smiles, or genuine smiles where their eyes reflected their inner joy. Students also had to perform stressful tasks. The results? Those told to smile genuinely had the lowest heart rates during stress recovery than the other groups, indicating that smiling reduced their overall stress levels.

Smiling changes your whole mindset

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, wrote that making an effort to smile every day allows our brains to create healthy patterns and happiness loops that make positive thinking easier for longer periods of time. Achor told Fast Company, “happiness is a work ethic. It’s something that requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train.”

It Creates Better Relationships

A 2014 study found that those who smile more frequently are more likeable, and being likeable is essential for building and fostering stronger relationships with those around us. Good relationships are essential for our emotional and physical health, so for better social bonds, flash that grin of yours.

Smiling Increases productivity

Who knew that smiling could help in the workplace, but smiling actually promotes happy emotions, which can boost productivity. To maintain a positive mindset, try smiling more at work, whether it’s by making time for grab lunch with friends or use a five-minute break to watch a funny YouTube video. 

It releases endorphins

You know that amazing feeling after you’ve nailed your workout? You can achieve that same feeling by smiling because both release endorphins, the chemicals that make us feel all warm and sunny inside. 

As many great things in life, smiling is free, and the expression has plenty of benefits. Next time express your gratitude with a smile. Or make it a point to laugh a bit more each day. Use the universal signal for happiness to elevate your mood and those around you. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.  

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.