Work can be stressful. And stress can be really debilitating, both physically and emotionally. So it’s a good idea to try and cope with it. You could do that by exercising, using relaxation techniques, talking to a friend, or looking at some trees. Or, you could smile. It turns out that smiling has many beneficial effects.
According to research, smiling does all of the following:
- It relaxes you, it alleviates pain, and it makes you feel happy. Smiling causes dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin to be released in your brain. These neurotransmitters help combat feelings of stress by making you feel more relaxed, and lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Endorphins also act as a natural pain reliever (just in case you’re experiencing some aches and pains along with your stress). And serotonin acts as an anti-depressant. It can help to make you feel happier.
- It makes other people find you more likeable. Research has shown that smiling faces are viewed as significantly more likable and attractive than faces with serious expressions. So smiling could help you to form new relationships and strengthen your existing ones.
- It makes other people smile. Smiling is actually contagious. When you smile at people, they will most likely smile back (perhaps without even realizing that they’re doing it). So by smiling, you’re benefiting everyone around you!
- It makes you live longer. Yep, it’s true. A 2010 study found that people who smile frequently and enthusiastically tend to live longer than those who don’t.
So no matter how stressed you might be feeling, try to smile. It will help you to live a happier, calmer, longer life.
Stevenson, S. (2012, June 25). There’s magic in your smile. Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile