Can smiling benefit you? Oh, yes it can. There are several reasons supported by research.
Reasons To Smile Each Day
#1 Reduction in stress
In 2012, the journal of Psychological Science, University of Kansas published a study in which 170 participants were told to hold chopsticks in their mouths mouths in three formations, making them smile to various degrees without realizing it, after performing a stressful task. The experiment revealed that subjects who smiled the biggest with the chopsticks experienced the largest reduction in heart rate and had quicker recovery time from stress.
#2 Make you more approachable
A Penn State University study published in 2004 found that authentic smiles shared by employees in the service industry influenced their impressions on customers in a positive way. Smiling employees came across as more likable and friendly. Guess what? The customers left the interactions feeling more satisfied about their overall experience. Job performance and the busyness of the venues were also factored in. Still researchers found that the added display of an authentic smile helped workers appear more competent as well.
#3 Retrains your brain
While the brain is naturally inclined to think in negative terms as a defense mechanism, the habitual act of smiling helps the mind move to a more positive space and remain there longer the more you do it. According to the author of The Happiness Advantage, by making smiling a part of our everyday practice, we help our brains create happiness loops that encourage more positive-thinking patterns.
#4 Strengthen your body on the cellular level
Just as this happy facial expression helps rid the body of stress, smiling can release tension at the cellular level, according to biochemist Sondra Barrett. In her book, Secrets of Your Cells, Barrett explains how cells can distinguish between safety and danger, find and repair problems and create an overall sense of balance in the body. Barrett also highlights how a person’s thoughts have a direct effect on cell function. When we smile, we reduce the rigidness of our cells, and this physical relaxation can help combat the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to the development or persistence of various cancers.