Have you ever heard the saying “smile and the world smiles back”? Well it’s quite true! With the holiday season in full effect there’s no better reason to spread cheer by smiling at anyone you come in contact with. Why you ask? Smiling, believe it or not not, only affects the people around you but it also affects your own mood. We know sometimes it seems weird to smile at strangers but here’s a few reasons that might change your mind.
Smiling tells the brain your happy. Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match. According to research done at Echnische Universität in Munich Germany, when we smile it send messages to the brain that we are happy (even if you aren’t) which in turn releases chemicals that make us happy. It’s sort of a self-fulfilling act, for happiness. Go ahead, try smiling right now and see if you don’t feel a bit better.
Smiling leads to a healthier life. Research suggests that smiling reduces stress hormone levels (like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine), increases health and mood enhancing hormone levels (like endorphins), and lowers blood pressure. YAY! Who doesn’t want want more endorphins?!
Smiling causes other to smile. Smiling is the UNIVERSAL sign of content and when a person smiles at another person the instinctual reaction is to smile back. This starts the chain of happiness all over again.
See where I’m going with this? There is no downside to smiling at people you encounter in your day-to-day lives. So give it a try for a week, the only thing you have to lose is a bad mood. 🙂