We all want to make the world a better place. There’s one simple act we all can do to make that happen. Smile more. Try it — you’ll like it.
Smiles are contagious
A nice smile not only lifts your spirits, but makes people witnessing your smile feel better, too. Smiling is paying it forward. Smile and the world really does smile with you.
Nothing conveys kindness like a warm smile. It’s a sign universally recognized by humans, and even a scared dog or cat can read that facial expression.
A smile denotes confidence. Try it if you’re feeling a bit apprehensive.
Smiling improves your mood, and the moods of those around you.
Okay, maybe smiling isn’t your first reaction if you’re suffering from pain. If you can manage a smile, the endorphins released help ease discomfort.
People know they are welcome when they receive a smile.
People who smile are regarded as more trustworthy than those who don’t.
Immune system booster
The act of smiling boosts your immune system. Smiling helps the body produce more white blood cells to fight infections.
Improve your health
Smiling reduces stress, which is linked to various diseases. Lessen the odds of heart disease, diabetes, and other stress-related illnesses with a smile.
Lower blood pressure
The act of smiling helps lower your blood pressure.
Lower heart rate
Smiling also lowers your heart rate.
A quick smile gives you a fast energy boost.
Laws of attraction
Smiling people are generally thought of as more attractive, even if they don’t possess traditional good looks. Think about it — don’t you know a basically plain individual whose smile lights up their face and improves their appearance? Men especially find a smiling woman more attractive.
Make new friends
People who smile a lot are seen as more approachable. A happy face invites new friends and encourages shy people to make a move they otherwise wouldn’t consider. A smile is a signal you are willing to speak with someone.
Feel less awkward in new situations by maintaining a smile.
Smiling erases several years off the faces of older people. It’s the world’s least expensive anti-aging procedure.
Take Yoko Ono’s advice: “Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning, and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.” No wonder John Lennon adored her.
Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment had the longest recorded lifespan in human history, living 122 years. Her advice on longevity: “Always keep your smile. That’s how I explain my long life.”
Increase your productivity
Approach a task happy and smiling, and your productivity will improve.
Service with a smile
Wait staff, cab drivers and other workers who depend on tips receive more gratuities when they smile. Smiling and good service go hand in hand. The service provider appears happy doing the job. No one wants service from a grouch.
Successful people smile more often. That’s a trait salesmen know well.
People with genuine smiles appear more intelligent than those who seldom smile.
People who smile are considered more competent than non-smilers by their peers.
Get a break
If you’ve done something you shouldn’t, a smile makes it more likely you’ll receive forgiveness. Kids are naturally adept at this.
We’ve all done it. If you forget the name of someone you really should know, or forget an anniversary or other important date, admitting your embarrassment with a smile is the best way to own up to your social slip-up.
Smiling has so many upsides and virtually no downsides. If smiling doesn’t come naturally to you, work on it gradually. If you avoid smiling because of the condition of your teeth, speak to a dentist about dental health and cosmetic dentistry. If affordability is a factor, contact schools of dentistry. Many offer low-cost clinics where patients receive care from dental students under the supervision of faculty members. Since it is a learning process, it may take a little longer, but the end result is a healthier set of teeth. That’s something to smile about.
Jane Meggitt graduated from New York University and worked as a staff writer for a major New Jersey newspaper chain. Her work on pets, equines and health have appeared in dozens of publications, including The Daily Puppy, The Nest Pets, Horse News, Hoof Beats and Horseback magazines.