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The Importance of Smiling

Are you smiling? Have you smiled at anyone today?

I’m smiling right now because it’s a beautiful day outside. Also, I just sent a email to the wrong person. Smiling at my mistakes means I smile a lot.

So what about you?

Maybe you are sleepy from adjusting to daylight saving time or maybe you haven’t had enough coffee yet. Maybe you don’t feel like smiling for whatever reason. Did you know smiling can help improve your mood?

Remember that all emotions have a linked expression, such as the look of disgust that goes with disgust. Because the expression of the emotion is linked to the emotion, you can change what you are feeling by adjusting your body language and facial expression.

When you change your facial expression you mood tends to align with the emotion your face is communicating. Remember, as always, you can’t do it half way, you need to throw yourself in.

Smiling is contagious.

When you give a warm and friendly smile, often others will smile back. You get a moment of feeling connected and accepted, and you spread happiness.

Smiling can help reduce stress. When you smile, your heart rate slows and other stress indicators go away faster than if you don’t smile. Smiling can lengthen your lifespan.

People who smile appear more youthful and are more attractive to others. The muscles you use to smile lift your face. Try it. Instant face lift!

Smiling signals to others that you are friendly and likable and not a threat. You improve the impression you make on others and you come across as more likable. They will want to be around you and will see you as more competent. And you will tend to be more productive and creative.

Amazing.

Smiling leads others to see you as more trustworthy. When you smile, you are signaling that you are open and friendly. If you have a blank face, others aren’t sure how to read you. That can create hesitation.

Smiling can help you develop stronger paths in your brain for positive thinking. The more you smile the more you move to a positive place. Your brain creates a happiness loop that encourages more positive-thinking patterns.

Smiles may strengthen the body on a cellular level. When you smile you reduce the rigidness of your cells and this relaxation can help reduce the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to the development or persistence of various cancers.

Maybe today is a day to smile often.

The Importance of Smiling

Karyn Hall, PhD

Karyn Hall, Ph.D. is the owner/director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center in Houston, a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician, a RO DBT Senior Clinician and owner of www.DBTSkillscoaching.com, an online educational program. She is a trainer/consultant as well as a therapist and certified coach. She is the author of The Emotionally Sensitive Person, SAVVY, Mindfulness Exercises for DBT Therapists, and co-author of The Power of Validation.


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APA Reference
Hall, K. (2018). The Importance of Smiling. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 13, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/emotionally-sensitive/2018/03/the-importance-of-smiling/

 

Last updated: 21 Mar 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Mar 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.