Ahh, double posts two days in a row! I’M HYPER!!!
I stumbled across this article (pdf here) yesterday about the effect smiling has on your health. I thought the article was just going to say how forcing yourself to smile makes you happier. But! It was much more interesting than that!
First of all, the article mentioned a runner who says smiling helps them feel less tired/stressed during their long runs! Funny to me, since I always try to smile when I am running – but for a different reason – so people who see me think I’m a happy runner (I am!) and think running is fun*.
Secondly, the article also said if you smile after a stressful event, your elevated heart rate will decline faster. Some researchers think only a genuine** smile causes health benefits, though, compared to a fake*** smile.
Thirdly, “Studies have found that the intensity of a person’s smile can help predict life satisfaction over time and even longevity.” But they are not sure if the smiling reflects your happiness level, contributes to it, or a little bit of both. Researchers think “It’s probably bidirectional. People who smile more tend to elicit more positive connections with other people, which in turn [can] help make you happier and healthier.”
And the article ended with reminding people to smile genuinely at others – because it makes others happy – “when people see a smile, so-called mirror neurons fire in their brain and evoke a similar neural response as if they were smiling themselves.” The article even mentions a coaching service for more genuine smiling that involves your whole face and gets that twinkle going in your eyes!
Do you think you can tell the difference between a genuine and fake smile?
Anyway, I bastardized the article and left out some other cool nuggets of information, so please check it out for yourself.
I found this article super interesting, because I do believe smiling makes me happier. There have been times I am grumpy and smiling helps!!! I need to remember that! Like, most weekdays, hint hint, Kim.
Do you think smiling can make you feel happier/healthier? Are you smiley?
I am super smiley cheese ball!
In focus and blurry smileys!
*Hmm, might be a stretch to think seeing me would make people think that. But let’s roll with it.
**Called ” ‘Duchenne smile,’ after the 19th century French neurologist who first described it.”
***Called ” ‘Pan Am’ smile after the polite expression the former airline’s stewardesses used to greet passengers.”