Smiling Is Good For You: Unlock Your Hidden Superpower

If someone comes up to you and says "You know it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile", how do you react? If you're a reasonable person, you probably put on a smile until they're out of earshot and then call them all the names you can think of. You don't tell them all the reasons you aren't smiling, even though there may be a few, and then tell them to go away. 

Here's the thing. The above is actually a lie anyway. It takes more muscles to smile. And if you think all of this is to set you up to frown your way through a day, it's not. Aside from exercising those muscles, there are countless other good reasons to smile. You don't have to walk around grinning the whole time, but there are some very good reasons to do it more. 

Smiling Lowers Stress Levels
Stress is not a fair player. People can be suffering from it without realising, only to have a cause removed from their life and notice how much better they feel. In the background, it can be making us mentally and physically unwell. It does this in an insidious, and all the more dangerous, way. The good news is that smiling lowers our levels. Even if it is the last thing you feel like doing, smile through an irritating or mentally exhausting experience. It's good for you.

It Assists Your Immune System
It sounds too good to be true, but it has some real science behind it. People visited in hospital by performers who made them smile have been shown to recover better than those not visited. Maybe you can't afford to invite a clown around when you've got the 'flu. But putting on a few comedy shows you enjoy, or reading a book you love, can put you on the mend sooner than if you don't.

It Makes You Attractive, Approachable And Trusted
For most people, “attractive” means “white” and “straight” when it comes to teeth. If you aren't convinced about the brightness of your smile, then reach for the whitening kit or the crest 3d white strips. If you’re concerned about the straightness of your teeth, old-school braces aren’t your only option, so speak to your dentist. Having a smile you're not afraid to flash works for you, in so many ways. It makes people want to spend time with you, to speak to you and confide in you. It makes people more likely to think you're the one who can be trusted with a promotion, and a better-paying job. It creates a great first impression. Side benefit: It makes people around you more likely to smile too.

It's Self-Fulfilling: Smile And You'll Want To Smile More
When we smile, our bodies release endorphins - the natural body chemical that makes us feel happier. So even if you have to pretend with the first one, the second one will come more naturally, and so on. So if someone does pull that whole "Smile, it's easier" line on you, by all means smile back at them sarcastically or pull a trick on them. Then hold that pose and use the real smiles on those who deserve them.

It's not always easy to smile. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more reasons you'll have to keep doing it.


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