Life today is not quite a bed of roses although it may seem so given the gifts of technology surrounding the lives of the common people nowadays. The tough and tiring personal and professional lives have rendered the humans hapless and there is hardly any moment of relief left to enjoy on own. Stuck in the tug of war of life, people are forgetting to smile and laugh that is taking a huge toll on not only the mental health of the human being but also on the physical health as well. This is because smile plays an important role in mending the moods of the individuals to a large extent and at the same time, it also aids in the process of a healthy social life also. This is because smile has a lot of significance in the lives of the humans and smiling is one of the best exercises that one should practice sincerely.
Why smiling is important?
Researchers have found out that smile plays an important role in improving the overall fitness and wellness quotient of the body and this is the reason that nowadays smile and laughter are used in treatments of various diseases. Some of the main reasons are discussed below:
- A smile helps in the healing process of the complete body as it triggers some of the happiest emotions as well as physical changes in the body. It also leads to the stimulation of the endorphins, which are secretions of the pituitary gland of the human body that help in instilling a sense of pleasure and euphoria by wiping out all sorts of stress, tensions, anxieties and other negative emotions from the mind.
- Apart from lifting the mood of the human beings, a smile is also very essential in strengthening the immune system of the body as well. Immunity is the ability of a human body to fight back any kind of antigens that can lead to diseases and therefore, having an optimum level of immunity is always required in order to maintain a healthy body and mind. This helps the body in lessening down any kind of pain and also prevents the body from getting plagued due to the detrimental effects of stress. This is a very crucial factor especially in today’s context where adult life has filled with stresses arising out of personal and professional issues. This is why children tend to remain more elated as compared to the grown-ups as they are lesser susceptible to stress.
- Any kind of outward manifestation of a ‘feel-good’ factor in life results in the smile or in other words, the signs of joy, excitement, appreciation, encouragement, love, affection and contentment are followed by smiles. It may be natural to remain sad and the sorrow feeling of the soul also gets reflected in the face because the person does not smile. However, as a medicinal as well as an expert advice, smiling is always recommended in such situations because that compulsorily helps in prepping up the spirits of the depressing individuals. This may not solve a problem but will definitely give a push to start afresh and live life with new energy. This is the main standpoint behind the usage of laughter therapy as a part of the treatment process of the mental disorders.
- A smile is also very contagious and this has a vital role to play in improving the social and community relationships as a whole. Whenever a person is greeted with a warm and friendly smile, the first impression itself is that of a glorious one, which then acts as a base for taking the relationship forward. Be it in the personal or the professional sphere of living, smile acts as one of the perfect bond-builders for the human beings at large. In fact, in this diverse world full of different culture, languages, caste, creed, sex and other variations, the smile can be the best way to communicate that can break all the barriers between boundaries and aid in the process of a harmonious relationship between the various countries of the world.
- Sometimes, it is said to fake a smile on the face for a better presentation especially in the professional sector. This is not only good for impressing the people around but a smile will always help to inculcate a sense of confidence that in turn will set the stepping stone to success because one can work with more zeal and vigor.
Therefore, it is always advisable to keep smiling and spread smiling around as well in order to ensure an all-round healthy environment in every respect.
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“the expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.” – Dale Carnegie
If you were to ask someone who knows me to describe who I am, undoubtedly one of the first things that they will say is that I am a continually happy or ‘smiley’ person. This is something that I always laugh about as it has been mentioned many times throughout my life! The good thing is I’m not complaining as a smile has a tonne of benefits to your overall wellbeing.
Smiling is number 2 on the list of the 43 Habits of Absolutely Happy People. If you can turn smiling into a habit, then you can turn happiness into a habit… let’s explore!
1) You’re More Attractive!
Do you want to be more attractive? Simple. Smile! Research has proven that we find others more attractive when they are wearing a smile. This one is a no-brainer, but for the sake of helping it land in your mind, think about someone who you know and think of first when they are down, sad, angry, frustrated, whatever it may be. How attractive are they? Now picture them simply with a smile on their face. What does this do to their attractiveness? If you took the time to do this exercise, I’m sure you would have easily found the smiling version much more attractive, and maybe this even made you feel a happy tingle inside yourself! This leads to my next point.
2) You Can CHANGE THE WORLD! A Smile is Contagious!
Have you ever been in a sour mood and then someone has come along with a huge smile, some laughter or in a really good mood? Perhaps a baby that just looked up at you and smiled? How did this make you feel? When the person you are talking to or the people that surround you are smiling, you won’t be able to help but smile!
A smile has special powers. You can calm fear, insecurity, hurt and anxiety not only in yourself, but in those that are experiencing those feelings. The next time someone is feeling sad, scared, nervous, whatever it may be, smile with them and see how this makes them feel!
Even 2Pac, the rap legend that passed away realised the benefits of smiling, in his lyrics to ‘Power of a Smile’ he raps:
The power of a gun can kill, and the power of fire can burn
The power of wind can chill, and the power of mind can learn
The power of anger, can raise inside until it tears you apart
But the power of a smile, especially yours, can heal a frozen heart
A smile is a contagious thing. Give to the world and the world will give back to you. Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you. You will brighten the days of those around and make a difference in their lives… simply by smiling!
3) Grow Old Sexily!
Wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles! Something that we all don’t want to have, however it is something that comes to us all leaving permanent marks of our emotional feelings throughout life. Smiling throughout life will NOT mean you won’t get wrinkles… I wish it did! It WILL however mean that you will have permanent marks of happiness and when you speak with those later in life, you will automatically be smiling!
You also use fewer muscles to smile than you do for frowning. Hopefully you’re smiling now as you read this, but if not, smile now! … Now that you have tried smiling, try and frown. Which one do you think is easier? I would definitely say smiling is the easier of the two, and therefore stretching your muscles and skin less throughout life to grow old sexily!
4) Simply Feel Good!
When you’re smiling, no doubt you’re having a much better time than when you’re not! Smiling simply makes you feel better!
Research has shown that smiling releases serotonin – a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It’s like a circle of happiness. Smile and you feel happy, you feel happy and you smile! Even when you’re not feeling great, try smiling, genuinely, and see how you feel!
5) Build Better, Faster Relationships!
Smiling is such a key ingredient for establishing healthy and genuine friendships. When someone is smiling at you it indicates that they like you. When someone likes you what do you think of them? Yep, normally you’re thinking “wow, I like this person!” Smiling also offers encouragement to the person that you are talking to. Think about it, if someone is smiling at you while you are talking to them, you feel as though they are totally into what you are saying, encouraging you to keep going!
Smiling is crucial when it comes to first impressions. Smiling when you first meet someone will indicate to the other person that you are genuinely happy to see them and that you are a positive person. These impressions will be lasting on the other person so definitely not one to miss!
6) Enhance your Business!
Business deals can be made simply through smiling. One of the first things that sales people quickly learn is to smile. Who would you rather buy something from? The sales rep that looks bored, down, angry, frustrated or whatever it may be, or from the sales rep that is simply smiling and happy to see you? The messages that they convey in conversation will link back to how they are feeling. A smiling person would be much more enthusiastic for the product and instil positive feelings in the buyer.
Even telesales have got a hold on this. Now sales reps that are on the other side of the phone are encouraged to smile when they talk as the smile is conveyed in how the person is talking!
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It can’t be that hard, can it?
2) Visualise your happiest moments
A number of people will say that they find it hard to smile due to circumstances in their life. Research has shown that our thoughts and feelings influence our behaviours. As this is the case, I encourage you to close your eyes and think of the moments that have made you laugh and smile. How does this make you feel? These visualization exercises are great for helping you smile.
3) Just do it!
Further research has now flipped the above completely on its head and suggested that our behaviours can actually influence our thoughts and feelings! As this is the case, I encourage you to JUST DO IT! Simply forcing a smile will give you the benefits of the above. Stand up straight, work on your posture, smile to the world and ‘fake it till you make it’! It WILL work!
Check out this fantastic video on TED, spoken by Ron Gutman who provides some fascinating insights into the power of smiling!
P.S. Incase you missed it, I have an article on Lifehack which has been the most viewed in the past week.Check it out here and let me know your thoughts!