Today I wish to share my insights on how can a smile make a difference to the world around us and inside of us.
How can a smile make a difference for yourself
Every time you smile your brain lights up like the 4th of July, similar to how it would look on crack. Smiling will activate a grid of neural messaging that benefit your health and contribute to your happiness.
Now each time you smile, the act stimulates the release of neuropeptides, they are molecules that modulate the flow of information through neurons. They enable the transmission of information throughout the whole body when we experience a wide array of emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, depression and states of excitement. Neurotransmitters endorphins, dopamine and serotonin are all released when a smile appears on our face.
When smiling, facial muscles complete a series of specific movements, which are interpreted by your brain and thus leading to an increased production of these chemicals. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy and also lower stress levels. Studies have shown that the brain doesn’t differentiate between real or fake smile as it interprets the positioning of the facial muscles in the same way. This is known as the facial feedback hypothesis and consists the basis on how can a smile make a difference in your brain chemistry. The more we stimulate our brain by smiling the more often we feel happier and relaxed.
The endorphins that are being released act as a natural pain reliever. And such for those suffering of chronic pain, laughing and smiling can be very effective in pain management. The same applies for laughing off the pain when you fall over; and your friends are laughing with you and not about you (they’ve read my article and got your back).
It is important to note that the release of serotonin caused by your smile acts as an anti-depressant. Many anti-depressants manufactured by pharmaceutical companies influence the levels of serotonin in your brain, but smiling is guaranteed instant results, cost-efficient, no side effects and no refunds. This effect is one of the keys to understanding how can a smile make a difference to your health.
Smiling will make you more attractive to people around you. When you smile, you’re viewed as more reliable, relaxed, attractive and sincere by your peers. A study reported that seeing a smiling attractive face activates your frontal cortex, and mainly the region of the brain that processes sensory rewards. The findings suggested that upon seeing a person smiling, you experience a rewarding feeling.
In another study participants were asked to rate people by their smile and attractiveness. Results showed that both women and men were more drawn to images of people who smiled and made eye contact than those who did not. Also smiling is a proven effective leadership technique, coworkers will find you trustworthy, friendly and easy to work with. After all who doesn’t love getting fired by a boss with a huge grin on his face?
Ask not what the world can do for you, but what you can do for the world
How can a smile make a difference to those around you
Smiling is contagious. The cingulated cortex is area of your brain where the act of smiling or mimicking a smile takes place. It is an area that operates by unconscious automatic response. I shall explain this by relating a recent study on the matter. Participants were shown pictures of faces depicting several emotions such as surprise, anger, fear and joy. Researchers requested the subjects to frown each time a picture of someone smiling was shown. Surprisingly, the participants found themselves smiling. It took considerable conscious effort to depict a frown. So when smiling at someone, most likely they will smile back.
As mentioned before our brains cannot differentiate between a true smile of joy or an imitated one. Whenever you smile at someone, their brain will force them to respond with grin of their own. This fact demonstrates how can a smile make a difference when it comes to human relationships. In that instant you create a bond that allows you both to release euphoric chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers,increase the chances of you both living longer, make you both more attractive, and most likely brighten your day even if just by a tiny bit.
Try and put on a smile, go out into the world and start an epidemic. One smile can make all the difference in the world, for you dear reader and if I’m lucky, for me as well.
If you would like more details on the subject or if you have any questions, objections, hateful comments or highly deserved praises to offer please do not hesitate to leave a comment.
Also if you have a product that you would like me to review and research, I gladly welcome the challenge.
Research sources: ncbi , plos1 , plos2 , frontiersin .