Becoming a Frequent Smiler – It Improves Your Mood
Is there anyone not interested in finding simple ways to improve your mood?
In these socially isolated times, with so many challenges we’re coming up against, it seems a no-brainer to want to feel more at ease and do what we can to improve our mood.
Smiling is one (big, free, easy) way to lift yourself up.
Here’s when it dawned on me, the inner reminder of the power of a smile…
I was on Zoom call the other day with a business associate and I kept thinking about how much I really like her. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was about her that made me feel good and left me in a better mood when we ended our meeting. Then it hit me. She is a frequent smiler.
Smiling is a universal sign of reassurance. Like the hugs that we can’t give or receive during these pandemic times we’re in.
Smiling affects your brain.
Smiling provides the smiler a positive physiological and emotional response. There is a ton of research and studies available online to back this up.
“Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain… the world is simply a better place when you smile.” – Sarah Stevenson, Behavioral Psychologist
Smiling helps our bodies release cortisol, serotonin, and endorphins that have been linked to:
- Reducing blood pressure
- Increasing endurance
- Reducing pain
- Reducing stress
- Strengthening our immune system
- Acting as a natural anti-depressant
- Perhaps even lengthening our lives*
Your smile is a gift to others as well.
Not only does smiling provide you with mood-lifting benefits, it can change and uplift the mood of others who see your smile.
Smiling makes you more attractive.
Becoming a frequent smiler can make you more attractive to others.
I don’t mean in the physical way, although I suppose that’s not a bad perk. I’m referring to presenting yourself more likable and pleasant… when that is to your advantage. Not in a fake-smile kind of way, but in a genuine putting-your-best-self-forward, setting the intention of a positive interaction, kind of way.
Examples: when meeting with a new client and setting a pleasant friendly tone; when being introduced to a collaborative team in your workplace; when stepping up to the customer service counter; when approaching anyone who you would like to give a good first impression to; when trying to attract more smiles and positive reactions toward yourself. (Smiling is known to be contagious, after all!)
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
I’m not suggesting we go crazy with so much smiling we seem incompetent or like we’ve been hitting the tequila… I’m saying, set the intention – smile a little more often and feel your mood, and those around you, soar upward.
It’s worth giving it a try and seeing how it feels and what impact it has on others around you.
There’s no down-side to smiling!
We can’t always control what’s happening around us, but becoming a more frequent smiler can help shift our internal experience and brighten our mood as well as the lives of those we smile at.
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” – Mother Teresa
As for me, smiling is a visual, physical expression of gratitude and I’m all about counting my blessings, so I’m absolutely planning to smile more often. – Marlene
*Abel E. and Kruger M. (2010) Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity, Psychological Science, 21, 542–544.
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