Although we can’t be permanently happy, a lot of us spend far too long with a frown on our faces. It’s not helping you and it’s not doing much for the rest of us either. Today if you’re feeling a bit flat, I’ve got five reasons to smile for you to ponder:
It lowers stress
In our crazy, fast paced world it’s easy to feel the stress loading on, distracting us from anything which might be good. The first of my reasons to smile is that smiling can lower your stress. Even when all you’re doing is faking it, as this study showed!
It may be cos it’s socialised into us, but smiling is relatively contagious. If, as you walked around, you smiled at everyone you passed, 80% of people would likely smile back. Then you’d feel good and they’d feel good too. I’ve noticed that even when people are distracted, a smile on me will often draw a smile from them just as we go past. So others benefit from your generosity – and it doesn’t cost you a cent!
You’ll seem more trustworthy
Apparently it’s true! People trust those who smile more. The enlightened at Penn University say so! Of course, it has to be a real smile (known as a Duchenne), with the crinkled eyes included. Salesmen and politicians take note!
It extends your leadership boundaries
Some theories of leadership claim that the job of a leader is to be ‘up there’ away from your people but actually, folk are more likely to trust you if you smile and be present. Consider reason number three above, then add the fact that when you seem genuine people assume your cause is too. Besides, a smile makes you seem more human! So anyone in leadership take note, smiling gets you further!
It conserves energy
When I was growing up a saying went round that it takes only two muscles to smile but 42 to frown. I just googled that idea and found dozens of variations on the theme! So who knows if it’s true? What I do reckon is truth, though, is that when you smile you make yourself feel better about things, and doing that can save you lots of negative energy and wasted time because you’ll be better focused. So if you’re tired, give yourself a smile. Save yourself the energy! It’ll get you there faster!
There you go. Did you know all of these things? Which of all the reasons to smile that you know will motivate you to actually put one on your face right now?