Dr. Turner’s Top 10 Reasons to Smile
1. Smiling makes you more attractive.
Ever wonder why are we always asked to smile in photos? Because people usually look their best—and happiest—when smiling. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 96 percent of American adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex. So the next time you are about to ask someone on a date, smile. It’ll make them feel happier (see No. 2), and you’ll already be more attractive in his or her eyes!
2. Smiling can change your mood and make you happy (even when you’re not).
It turns out that the simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. This reaction has been studied since the 1980s and has been proven a number of times.
3. Smiling can make others happy.
“When you’re smilin’, the whole world smiles with you.” Ever heard that song, made famous by Louis Armstrong? Well, it’s true. Research shows that smiling is contagious. Ever been around someone who just had something fantastic happen to him or her? Isn’t it almost impossible not to feel good, too? Studies show that something as simple as seeing a friend smile can activate the muscles in your face to make that same expression, without you even being aware that you are doing it.
4. Smiling can help you land a job.
If you’re about to go on a job interview, you may think that your appearance is just about wearing nice clothes. In a study published in the December 2009 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people looked at full-body photographs of 123 people they had never met. The people in the photos had one of two expressions: neutral (think your passport photo) or a smile. And guess what? When observers saw the photos of smiling people, they were more likely to think that the person in the photo was likeable, confident, conscientious, and stable. Sound like traits most companies want in an employee, right? So the next time you’re dressing to impress, make sure to take that beautiful, natural smile with you!
5. Smiling can lead to laughter.
Have you ever laughed without smiling? It’s pretty impossible to do. And it’s funny how a smile here and a smile there with friends can turn into a whole fit of hysterical laughter. Numerous studies have been done on the health benefits of laughing. Laughter also helps blood flow, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces stress, and improves sleep. It may also raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body, which helps boost your immune system. Smile—and laugh—often!
6. Smiling relieves stress and can lower your blood pressure.
Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action. When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, then take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
7. Smiling boosts your immune system.
Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. You might prevent the flu and colds by just by smiling.
8. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin.
Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together, these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.
9. Smiling lifts the face and makes you look younger.
The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face-lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.
10. Smile and you’ll be remembered.
Flash those pearly whites in your next interview. If you are smiling, you are three times more likely to be remembered than a person who is displaying negative or neutral features.
“A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.