Why did the Mona Lisa become one of the most famous paintings of all time? And one possible answer is this: because of her unique smile.
The smile is is the “the symbol that was rated with the highest positive emotional content” concludes scientist Andrew Newberg.
Studies suggest that smiling, forced or not, can have a positive effect on your mood, decrease stress levels and even make everyone around you feel better.
Benefits of Smiling
1. Smiling is contagious
Because of complex brain activity that occurs when you see someone smiling, smiles are contagious. Studies say that just seeing one person smiling activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement, which leads to a grin. Even in bad situations, if you smile, others are likely to mimic the expression.
2. Smiling lowers stress and anxiety
When recovering from a stressful situation, study participants who were smiling had lower heart rates than those with a neutral facial expression.
3. Smiling releases endorphins
Smiling can help you manage stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, chemicals that makes you happier.
4. You’ll be more attractive
A smile suggests that you’re personable, easy going, and empathetic.
5. Smiling strengthens your immune system
Smiling even makes your immune system stronger by making your body produce white blood cells to help fight illnesses.
6. You’ll be more approachable
Studies have found that people are more willing to engage socially with others who are smiling. A smile is an inviting facial expression that tells people you are willing to talk and interact with them.
7. Smiling will make you more comfortable
Our natural tendency is to stick to things that are familiar, but smiling decreases this need. A study found that smiling can make you more comfortable in situations you would otherwise feel awkward in.
8. You’ll seem more trustworthy
If you want to improve your credibility, simply smile more. Trusting doesn’t come easily to many, but smiling at someone may help.
9. You’ll be a better leader
If you’re in a position of power, or want to be, smiling may be the key to your success. Smiling is a more effective leadership technique than having great management responsibilities.