Over my career training people all over the globe, one of the most common traits I notice is that folk are taking themselves, their work and their lives way too seriously. And when we take life too seriously and we feel burdened and heavy, we often show it on our faces.
It seems like we’re caught in a trap. Treating life like it’s a competition that we must win. As a consequence, our energy gets jammed up.
There’s a simple solution to this epidemic that’s affecting the world… Smile!
Smiling reduces stress and improves your mood; it makes you more creative, more approachable and trustworthy, and improves physiology on a cellular level.
In fact, if you smile readily enough you can rewire your brain to become more positive every day, so smiling isn’t just for the moment, but for a better life altogether.
So much of our time is spent being transactional and feeling as if we’re on our own; yet we know that meaningful human connection has a huge impact on our happiness and overall wellbeing.
Something as simple as a smile can activate neural messaging that not only makes you feel happier, it’s actually good for your health too.
A smile releases feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain; dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. These don’t just relax your body, but they also help to lower your heart rate and can help to keep your blood pressure low too.
All by simply giving someone a flash of those pearly whites.
And it turns out our brains don’t get too bogged down with if we’re truly happy or if we’re faking it. Dr. Murray Grossan, an otolaryngologist in Los Angeles sums it up brilliantly when she said, “When you smile, the brain sees the muscle [activity] and assumes that humour is happening.”
So, if our brains are happy to go with us on this and assume that a smile means we’re experiencing joy and so release lots of lovely chemicals to make us actually feel great, then we really should smile more often, right?
It’s as if our brains are willing us to smile…
Smiling not only makes you feel better by releasing endorphins and reducing cortisol, but it also makes other people much warmer towards you and inclined to connect more deeply with you.
It can even make us appear more attractive to others, and the more intense our smile then the more attractive we appear apparently. And even better (for some of us) a smile can even compensate for relative unattractiveness!
What more reason does anyone need to put on their best smile?
Have fun today.
Because this is life, it’s here to be played with.
Smile and you can only win…