the power in a smile

There’s power in a smile; how to use that smile power every day

Have you smiled yet today? Has something or someone caused you to react with the universally acknowledged symbol of happiness: a smile? If you’re a naturally optimistic person you will find opportunities to smile far more easily than pessimists. But that doesn’t mean they cannot reap the benefits of a smile. If we take the time to look, we will always find something to smile about. You may have heard it said that it takes fewer muscles to generate a smile on our face than it does a frown. That’s power enough for me! A natural anti-wrinkle treatment! But more so than a fleeting vanity, there’s genuine power in a smile that can benefit us in marvelous ways.

So even though we might argue nationally or globally that there’s not much to smile about, if we look a little closer to home, we might just be able to change that attitude, and in doing so discover the wealth of benefits that come along with a toothy grin.

What’s so powerful about a smile anyway?

A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight. Kemmons Wilson had it right, you know. The power within a simple smile can transform a situation from one of pain, loneliness, rejection, anxiety, sadness, uncertainty, into one of joy, acceptance, confidence, peace, and love. The simple act of smiling requires so little physical effort, that even if we’re feeling the worst, we can somehow still find the strength to smile if given the incentive.

Have you ever seen that person walking down the street grinning like a Cheshire cat and looking a little ridiculous, but also amazing in their joy? And you automatically find yourself grinning in response despite yourself, whether through a shared joy or because you find them amusing. I’ve been there, not the person grinning, but the one grinning back in response. The smile is infectious, just like a yawn, and you feel instantly lighter, happier, more joyful. Even if you’ve felt a bit down, or maybe it’s raining when you wanted sunshine. Their smile makes you smile, which may make someone else smile…you see how infectious a smile can be? Spreading smiles like seeds thrown to the wind! How brilliant!

So even if you’re not feeling your happiest self, it’s still possible to smile and make yourself feel better. That simple curve could just shift your gloomy attitude and set straight a lot of things in your day that could have gone awry with that frown!

Charles Darwin was one of the first to really look at the power of a smile. He noted that smiling is truly universal, unlike other physical actions such as body language, or verbal communication, which differs from culture to culture, we all understand a smile and the feelings behind it.

Some other great reasons to use your powerful smile

Lifespan enhancer

I’m not saying that smiling directly will make your life longer. If that were so we’d all be walking around with massive grins on our faces 24/7. But research has shown that people who smile more and are generally happier, live a healthier lifestyle and therefore may find increased longevity in years. We’re all looking for ways to lengthen our time here on earth, so why not employ the power in a smile and, if nothing else, live a healthier and happier life?

Stress Reliever

If you’re like me, you show your emotions through your face. Even if you don’t mean to. So when we are stressed it really can show on our faces and infect the people around us. The simple act of popping a smile on your face can be enough to reduce those stress hormones and give yourself a little breathing room. Even if you can’t really find something to smile about, try and smile anyway. You might be amazed by the lightness you feel. And like I said above, this can affect the people around you to reduce the stress in a situation.

Mood Elevator

We all know that laughter is a natural booster of serotonin and dopamine, and a smile is just a precursor to a laugh. When we smile we boost our mood by boosting our happiness hormones, releasing its effects throughout our body. It acts as a natural anti-depressant and makes us feel great. This works even if you employ the fake smile when you’re not feeling great. You can trick your brain into releasing serotonin and dopamine and therefore boost your mood. The power in a smile affects us on a cellular level, transforming us from the inside out.

Immune System Booster

Your immune system is hardwired to your hormones and your gut. When we have elevated levels of those happiness hormones rushing through our bloodstream we are naturally less stressed and far happier. When we are stressed our gut is often affected as we carry tension there, we may comfort eat, and combined with our reduced happiness hormones we weaken our immune defenses. So look for ways to increase your smiles, boost your mood and ensure a stronger immune defense come winter.

Pain Reliever

Not only does smiling release our happiness hormones, but it also releases endorphins. These wonderful things act as a natural pain killer and when they couple with serotonin and dopamine, they make us feel fabulous all over. This of course naturally reduces stress which can exacerbate pain signals throughout our bodies. Reduced stress equals reduced pain signals which equals natural pain reliever. I told you there was power in a smile!

Beauty Boost

A smile is one of the main ways we decide if we’re attracted to someone. It tells us so much about a person, not only if we’re physically attracted to them, but also if we are emotionally compatible with them. More than any frown, scowl, pouting lip, or grimace, a smile will endear you to someone or you to them. Less friendly expressions act oppositely to a smile and deter interaction. This power in a smile not only works in personal settings but in professional ones too. The power of a smile to light up a face is timeless, illuminating natural beauty, even making us look years younger.

Success Maker

A smile not only makes us more approachable, but it can also make us appear more confident. This translates into more doors of opportunity being opened up to us personally and professionally. People will behave more relaxed in our company; our smiles creating their smiles and thus changing behaviours. The power in a smile can literally make or break how successful you are in life, so let’s take notice of what makes us smile each day and focus on it!

I prescribe more smiles!

As I’m sure you are well aware, our world is in quite a state. But like a wrote in my blog How to change the way you look at things we can choose how we perceive the world and how we let it affect us. That means we can consciously choose to be happier people, to smile more, and to enjoy the life we have been so blessed to live. There truly is power in a smile so if doctors are not going to prescribe them more, I will, and so should you!

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