The Psychology Behind The Smile

Have you ever heard that smiling changes your mood? At first, I didn’t think much about it. I have been sad and tried smiling, but alas, I was still sad. There are a few sayings and quotes that support this claim that smiling can have an affect on your mood and it all starts with the brain.  It has been a saying that has been around for many a generation that goes, “Smile for a while to make bad feelings docile.” or even in the words of Thich Hanh who said, “Sometimes joy is the reason why you smile, but sometimes your smile can be the reason for your joy.”

What is there to smile about?

Other than to be grateful that you woke up today and when you got out of bed your legs still worked, there is plenty of reasons to smile. First and foremost, the smile is a universal language that known to everyone that if you smile at them, you’re friendly, warm and welcoming. This is the reason why I don’t believe in pretending to like someone by smiling. My mother would always tell me, “Dana Sibilsky, you’re lying to their face with your face by making that person believe you are warm and welcoming to that person.” Let’s be honest here.

When you smile, you appear more attractive unless you are a man. Apparently, women find men who don’t smile as much more masculine and attractive. Being a woman myself, I dub this as false. Smiling has been recorded in multiple researches to lift up your mood and even the mood of those who see you smile because, as mentioned before, smiling makes you seem friendly. Who doesn’t feel happier when surrounded by friendly people?

Smiling is catchy

Probably something that is more contagious than the flu or a common cold, smiling ranks up higher on the list. If you smile at someone it’s a normal reaction for people to smile back and if they don’t then it’s simply because they have made an effort not to return a smile. The reasons why it’s catchy are in the mind.

Happy smiling brains

It’s all in your head. No, literally it’s all in your head. Studies found that the stress fighting neuropeptides are activated when you smile. These little guys are what help the body understand that we are happy, sad, stressed, angry, etc.. Other chemicals are brought into play just by spreading a smile across your face such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin which help you feel good—especially the endorphins, which are most powerful pain reliever known to man and they are natural! That doesn’t mean you’ll get a rush of endorphins to end your pain just by smiling.

In conclusion, there is plenty to smile about and with this information, there are many more reasons to smile and smile big. Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” a smile will bring you up to where you should always be.

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