We get it. Smiling may be the last thing you want to do when you are upset, tired, or sick. However, as you’ll see below, there are many benefits to smiling, so even if you don’t want to, just know that it can lift your mood and create the happiness you need in life.
Smiling lifts your mood
There have been studies shown that prove that a person’s mood will align with the emotions shown in their face; so this means, a simple facial expression, like the smile, can enhance positive emotions in your life. We know sometimes it can be hard; you’re stressed, overworked, tired, and sad. The moments when you feel that way are when you need to smile the most. Ever hear that expression “fake it till you make it”? A “fake” smile, even when you don’t mean it initially, still creates a positive response in your mood.
Smiling reduces your stress
A study was done to test a “standard smile” (a smile with your mouth) and a “genuine smile” (a smile with both your mouth and eyes) and it was found that those who smiled the biggest experienced a reduction in heart rate and quicker stress recovery, compared to those whose expressions remained more neutral.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”Thich Nhat Hanh
Smiling actually changes your brain’s patterns
Even more studies have been done that prove that when you smile, the more effective you are at breaking your brain’s pattern of thinking negatively or focusing on the negative. The more you smile, this actually retrains your brain to create a new pattern of thinking positively. Just like we train our bodies to perform more optimally, we can actually train our minds to do the same. Sometimes all it takes is something as easy as a smile.
Smiling is contagious
Finally something contagious you actually want to catch. As a part of human nature, we want to connect with others, so we will actually mimic and mirror the facial expressions of others because we feel it helps us better understand that person’s feelings and emotions. We are then able to respond in a more connected way because we feel we understand it more. So the next time you smile, know that others who see you, will in turn, likely smile back.