Want a happier marriage and a more successful career? Then smile more often! Here’s why it works:
First: Smiling makes other people feel better. In fact, when we see someone smile – whether we know them or they’re a perfect stranger - it suppresses the control we usually have over our facial muscles, compelling us to smile back. They also showed that it’s very difficult to frown when looking at someone who smiles. Why? Because smiling is contagious and we have a subconscious drive to smile when we see one. And researchers found that getting a smile from someone you care about can provide more positive brain stimulation than eating chocolate, going shopping, or receiving money.
Smiling also increases your chance of success. A study at Penn State University found that smiling makes us seem more likeable and courteous. It also makes us look more competent. Also, researchers found that the people with the biggest smiles in their high school yearbook had the happiest marriages 30 years after graduation.
And finally: All the benefits of smiling add up to a longer life. Wayne State University researchers examined the baseball cards of Major League players from 1952. The result? Those who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of 73 years. But those who smiled lived to be almost 80. What’s the link? People who smile are generally more positive and outgoing – which reduces stress and increases longevity.