The power of smiling should never be underestimated. In fact, even reading about it is sometimes enough to have your mouth curl upwards. That’s how I felt reading today’s guest post when it popped into my inbox. If you start to feel the same, don’t resist. Just let a big, cheesy grin work its way across your lovely face.
I was never going to be a ballerina. It wasn’t through lack of trying, I just wasn’t built for it. However, in any ballet exam I ever took, there was always one thing I scored well on – smiling. I don’t know why they score you for smiling, but they did and that’s where the majority of my marks came from. I guess I was just a natural born smiler (who couldn’t dance very well).
I’ve never grown out of it either. You could say I’m that sightly crazy person that always smiles at people, even if I don’t know them. If I catch someone’s eye my go to response is just to smile. I hope it lets people know that I’m friendly and approachable rather than strange, but either way I can’t help it.
And I won’t apologise for it either. You see in my opinion smiling is highly underrated. Why do I think this? Well allow me to let you into a little secret…smiling is a superpower.
Smiling releases a silent positive energy, that when actioned can change the course of a day, not just for you, but for anyone you offer one to.
Think about it this way…
Your one smile offered to a stranger, could be the only human interaction that person has for that day. Smiling lets them know there is kindness in the world.
A smile offered to a parent who is at the end of their patience with their kids, provides reassurance that they are not a terrible parent and are just doing the best they can.
A smile offered to someone who has served you shows gratitude and appreciation for their work and help.
It lets someone who is fearful know that it will be okay.
A smile says welcome and provides warmth and comfort.
It lets somebody know they are being thought of positively rather than judged negatively.
Smiles fuel us all. Best of all they are completely free.
The benefit isn’t only realised by the people you offer them to either! How often have you felt good when you’ve made somebody else smile? Doesn’t it make you smile too?
In fact, smiling is such an all-inclusive superpower that it’s also one of the best things you can do for yourself. Plenty of studies have confirmed the numerous psychological and physical benefits we experience when we smile. Smiling can improve your health and help you live longer. How so? It lowers your blood pressure, helps you deal with stressful situations more effectively, boosts your immune system, releases serotonin, triggers endorphins and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Wow! Read that again if you need to and then answer me this, how’s that for a superpower?
Even better news – faking a smile works as well as the real thing! So even when you’re feeling down, you can still benefit from all of the great things smiling has to offer.
I read somewhere recently – our energy speaks before we do – if we agree that smiling is positive energy, think of all the wonderful people and opportunities you open yourself up to with just one smile! It’s been documented people who smile are seen as more likeable, attractive, intelligent, confident and trustworthy. Think of how powerful that is if you’re searching for a new partner or applying for a new job.
And if all that wasn’t enough, when you smile, you unwittingly set off a Mexican wave of further smiles. It’s been proven smiling is contagious – people literally cannot help but smile back (if they don’t they’ve consciously chosen not to – don’t shoot the messenger, this is science speaking). It’s a great thing, because just by mimicking you, the recipient also reaps every single benefit that smiling has to offer. Anyone else feeling a little bit of responsibility to share the love here?
I’m not advocating walking around constantly beaming like a Cheshire cat (unless you feel a need to – I won’t judge). But I do advocate making more room in your life for smiling. It’s so good for you. You owe it to yourself to fit in as many smiles as you can everyday.
So whilst I no longer get judged for smiling (or my terrible ballet dancing), smiling is something I’ll happily and consciously continue to do! How about you join me? Isn’t it time to put on your metaphorical superhero cape and unleash all the amazing benefits smile power has to offer?
Looking for more ways to feel good? Take a look at Lucy’s feel good films from last week.