Mother Teresa once said “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” We have been smiling all our lives. And to some degree, we already possess the inherent knowledge that smiling not only feels good but it actually does good too.
Yet many of us shy from smiling as often as we ought to. I’m not the one to judge; we all have our own problems to deal with in life. But way too often, we actually punish ourselves by choosing not to smile when we really should be smiling our brains off!
So, the next time you get the opportunity to smile, just smile, and enjoy all that positivity it spawns. If you’re not convinced, well here below are reasons you should be.
1. Smiling makes you look attractive.
Your smile says a great deal about you. It really is true. Not convinced? Try this. Try to think of some of the people you’re attracted to. Done? How many of those were actually smiling? Well, you don’t have to tell me because I already know the answer.
We are naturally hardwired to be attracted to people who smile. Something about seeing someone smile builds up all this positive energy in our minds. And every time we see them, we associate them with all that positive energy.
So, the next time you’re around a bunch of friends or strangers (it really doesn’t matter) and you want to attract attention, just smile.
2. Smiling makes you happier.
Now this is as true as it is strange. Smiling actually makes you, the person smiling, happier regardless of the situation. Normally we are hardwired to smile only during pleasant situations.
The brain in turn releases endorphins which lowers stress and improves your overall mood, hence making the situation pleasant. But it being a voluntary action, we can actually trick the brain into believing that an otherwise dull situation is actually pleasant by simply smiling.
So the next time you’re bored, or god forbid sad, try this — kick back, take a few deep breaths and smile. Just smile, and watch your brain work its magic!
3. Smiling improves your immune system.
It has been reported that when you’re smiling, the body releases more white blood cells than it usually does. And the prime purpose of white blood cells are to protect the body against both infectious diseases and foreign invaders.
So, smiling more often actually makes your body more immune to diseases and hence makes you healthier. In fact, that is the prime reason why so many famous celebrities are invited to children’s hospitals. If they can get the children to smile, that will, to some degree, boost their overall health.
So with this in mind, don’t just go smiling on your own from now on. Make others smile too!
4. Smiling makes you a better leader.
Smiling encourages trust. We can all agree to that. A person who is constantly smiling appears more trustful than someone who is not. And what more do we look for in a great leader than trust?
Take a look at all the popular leaders of the world. I don’t say the great leaders, because not all of them may be popular. But the popular ones, who are also the more successful, smile more often than others.
This is true for leadership in all levels. Fear and intimidation may work like a charm for a while, but they never last long. The leaders who truly make a mark in history are the ones that smile.
5. Smiling helps you make a better impression.
Have you ever been in a room with strangers and struggled to socialize to the extent you wish you could? Wouldn’t you in turn want to be that person who can get along with everyone in the room in a jiffy?
Well, if you look at the people who can actually do this, you will find that the key to their success is, you guessed it, smiling. Yes, they’re smiling more than you are. But guess what? Their personality is no match for yours. Put on more smiles, and you’ll be sweeping all the charm towards your direction in no time!
6. Smiling makes you more productive.
We talked about the value of smiling as a mood booster earlier, but it doesn’t end there. The effect of one good smile follows you to your workplace and in fact, helps improve your overall performance there.
And this is actually backed by research. A 2010 research led by Andrew Oswald, a Professor of Economics at Warwick Business School, proved that employees who smile more often are significantly more productive and creative in the workplace.
So whether you’re an employee or an employer, smile more often and make others around you smile more often too. It will be great for everyone involved.
7. Smiling makes you more approachable.
Imagine yourself in a room with two people you’ve never met before. You need to ask them a favor. And it’s not just any favor. It would actually be of mutual benefit. Both persons are on their phones. One is smiling, the other is not.
After a while, they put their phones down, and you’re ready to approach them. Which of the two would you go to, or at least go to first? Once again, I know the answer.
There is something about smiling that attracts trust. It makes the person wearing the smile appear warm and kind. The very qualities that make one approachable.
8. Smiling makes you more confident.
Not only does smiling make you look more confident, it actually makes you confident in the long term. If you’re someone who smiles often, you tend to attract more attention, trust and respect than others around you.
This in turn makes you look for the attention, trust and respect in every situation which is the hallmark of confidence — believing that you deserve something.
And how do you do that? The only way you’ve ever known. Smiling more! Which in turn makes you even more confident. It is almost like a chain reaction. A never ending cycle that only makes you more confident and happier with every iteration.
9. Smiles are contagious.
Well, they are, aren’t they? How many times have you seen someone smile and get no reaction from the other party? Very few, right? People smile, even if to be polite. And we’ve talked about the seer effect of just smiling, even in pretense.
When you’re smiling, you’re actually asking the other party to join in on the fun with you. And 99 percent of the time, they do join you. Smiles are one of the most contagious things in the world, behind probably only to laughter, which is in a way just a louder smile. So smile more, and spread the joy!
10. Smiles are free.
We have discussed a lot of benefits of smiling. But we are yet to discuss the most important reason you should smile more often –- because they’re free! When was the last time you blew away something so beneficial yet absolutely free? Smile, just smile.
You’ll be happier and you’ll make everyone around you happier. Dale Carnegie wrote this on his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”: “A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.” Old Carnegie sure was onto something!
Featured photo credit: smiles by Alex via flickr.com