Practice # 12: Improve how you’re perceived with a simple smile. Smiling has a powerful impact on your own happiness as well as those around you. You can transform a lousy day simply by putting a smile on your face. Think about how just one upbeat individual entering a room of subdued people changes the whole vibe. That’s the person people want to be around and follow.
How smiling changes you
Smiling actually changes your physiological state. The act of smiling releases neuropeptides which ward off stress. Dopamine, serotonin and endorphins also show up when your facial muscles form a smile. These feel-good neurotransmitters are supercharged with benefits. They naturally put you in a more relaxed state and have the added bonus of lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. It doesn’t matter if you’re faking a smile either. Your brain doesn’t know the difference. You can make yourself smile and you’ll get the same benefits.
Smiling makes you attractive
As you’re enjoying your own mood boost, your smile is impacting those around you too. Want to be seen as attractive? Smile. People are drawn to the person with a smile on their face, and smiling people are perceived as more trustworthy. Your smile makes others feel good. Like yawning, smiling seems to be contagious. Notice how you can’t help but grin back at someone whose face is wearing a big smile.
Add more smiles to your life
Now that you know the power of a simple smile, decide to smile more to increase your happiness.
• Smile at your partner and family members in the morning
• Smile when you first see your co-workers
• Smile when you meet someone new
• Make eye contact when you smile
• Include things in your life that make you smile and laugh, such as watching funny movies, seeing live comedy, or seeking out funny pet videos.
• Keep photos on your phone that will always make you smile
• Keep company with positive people who will help you smile more
Do you have a story about how someone inspired confidence in those around them with their smiling demeanor? Share it in the comment box below.