But first let me ask you; don’t you just hate it when people say ‘What’s wrong with you today, you don’t look very happy?’
Maybe you don’t feel like smiling on that particular day, for no particular reason. Or maybe you feel like punching them in the nose.
However, a report in American Psychologist states that:
Smiling and being agreeable influences the length of people’s lives in a positive way – Bow Wow!
On the other hand, being grumpy increases the likelihood of a violent death, heart disease, cancer etc – oh dear! And punching someone on the nose may result in a violent death!
If DC says it; it must be true
Are your teeth okay?
Another survey found that 75% of respondents thought that an unattractive smile would be bad for their career. While a whopping 92% said an attractive smile was a necessary social asset.
Watch out for the scary people
These sorts of reports have been around for years, but many of the people who I come into contact with don’t seem to have received the message.
I’ve attended business networking meetings where many non smiley people look downright scary. And they wonder why they don’t gain any benefit from their networking!
Many of the people at my local health club look downright unhappy. You’d think they were there as some form of penance rather than as part of their fun and leisure time.
Are you sure your teeth are okay?
Of course many people don’t smile because they’re nervous; they lack confidence or have low self-esteem. Some people on the other hand actually believe they’re smiling when the face they present to the world could actually turn milk sour.
Have a look at your face from your side
I’m not suggesting that we all go around with big smiles on our face grinning inanely at people we hardly know. If you did that, then the men in white coats would soon be dragging you off to a place of detention. However, I am suggesting that we think about the face we present to other people.
By sporting a warm smile at the appropriate time we can only smooth the path for the people we’re dealing with. We also boost our own confidence and it allows us to relax and make the most of a situation.
Here come the technical bit
Smiling stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals, which has an ongoing positive effect. It’s a two way neurological process; when you smile you literally become happier, and when you’re happier, you smile more. If someone gives you an unsolicited smile, you smile back and in this way we directly affect each other’s moods.
Switching on a smile will only bring benefits – you’ll be happier and everyone else will be happier – so keep smiling!
And in the words of W.C. Fields:
‘Start each day with a smile and get it over with’.
- 11 Facts About Smiling (lifehack.org)