THE ALL POWERFUL SMILE
While preparing for my presentation "Happiness is a Decision," I remembered a fascinating study conducted by Wayne State University in 2010 regarding the connection between the width of the smile on baseball card photos of Major League players and the length of the players lives. The wider the smile, the longer the life span - an average of seven years longer to be exact!
Another intriguing study unearthed more information regarding the power of the smile. According to a UC Berkeley 30-year study examining the smiles of students in old yearbooks, the width of the smile predicted how fulfilling and long-lasting their marriages would be; how high they scored on standardized tests; their overall general well-being; and how inspiring they would be to others. Surprising? Absurd? Not really. I was compelled to delve further into the power of the smile and found countless studies of its benefits:
- Smiling positively impacts any social situation.
- Smiling not only improves your life; it impacts the lives of others.
- Smiling is a cross-cultural expression of all humans.
- Smiling when you are sad will help you feel better. (Our mood aligns with our facial expressions.)
- Smiling is FREE and available on demand.
- Smiling is a great way to show off all the money you invested in your teeth. (May not apply to all!)
- One smile can stimulate your brain's reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate can't match.
- Smiling reduces your stress hormones.
- Smiling helps you appear more confident and competent.
So there you have it! When you want to improve your life and the lives of others, SMILE! In fact, put a smile on your face right this moment and feel the benefits....
Along with smiling more, being more playful and silly is another good way to keep yourself young at heart. My blog on playful silliness offers some of the amazing benefits.