A smile is a beautiful representation of the intent to be happy, portray and share happiness. It cost us more to frown, giving ourselves permission to wallow in the feelings, premature wrinkles and the exchange of negative energy.
Scientific research tested in the 70s was reanalyzed by researcher Nicholas Coles suggesting facial expressions do have a small affect on feelings. Smiling makes people feel happier and frowning makes them feel sadder. Sounds like a waste of time and money, common sense tells me that. So, I dug a little deeper.
Various researchers came together and compiled a list of nine super powers of a smile. I was intrigued to share eight of them.
Smiling makes you look younger. A small study done by UMKC researches showed that college students perceived older people who had a smile on their face to be younger than their age and people with frowns to be older. Journalist Meg Selig added, turning up the corners of your mouth causes your whole face muscles and features to rise, the equivalent to a mini facelift.
Smiling can make you look thinner. Sounds absurd, but I believe it to be true, considering I’ve found the chubbiest person to look a lot more appealing with a smile.
Smiling elevates your mood and elevates your sense of well-being. In times of sadness, I’ve found myself smiling at something I was watching, briefly thinking about or listening to music. The smile began to turn into the feeling that radiated from outside to in, replacing those negative vibes with positive ones.
Smiling produces more pleasure in the brain than chocolate! British researchers found that one smile can produce the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate. Interesting fun fact to say the least.
A forced smile can lead to a mood boost. Have you ever had someone get in your face while you were in a down mood, and you break out smiling or laughing, instantly feeling a little bit better than before? Well I have.
Smiling makes you seem courteous, likable and competent. I feel this. People feel real comfortable asking me for help, because I have a smile or pleasant demeanor. Doing a job with a smile, would make it appear your comfortable and confident in what you’re doing.
The span of a person’s smile can predict life span. In 2010 Wayne State University research studied a project on major league baseball players from the 50’s. Studies showed the players who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years. The ones with beaming smiles lived an average of 80 years.
Lastly, smiling is contagious. This is true and needs no explanation, just writing on the topic has given me many smiles.
In conclusion, I love to see the beauty in people and one of the most beautiful attributes is your smile.
Christy Angelette is part of the Generation X generation. She is a mother of three amazing sons and is a southern Queen born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She is working on a novel that will highlight mental illness and abuse in multiple forms, as well as civil rights being broken on a mental health level.