Turns out smiling really CAN make you feel better.

I’ve been researching smiling for my upcoming book, Walking Maggie, and thought I’d share a tiny bit about what I’ve found here.

When you smile, you change your physiology, which actually changes your body and your mood. Even a fake smile will have a positive impact, but the best kind of smile to impact your well-being is what’s known as a Duchenne smile. (Duchenne de Boulogne, a 19th-century french neuroscientist, identified the muscles in spontaneous smiling, including those around the eyes, in 1862, so that big, happy-faced smile has born his name since.)

What happens when you smile?

Your heart-rate goes down along with your blood pressure. Your body releases stress-fighting neuropeptides as well as the feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins making you feel good. Not too shabby…

To top that off, research has found that you are better looking and more attractive when you smile.

Finally, when you smile – particularly that big, whole-faced grin, it has a ripple effect on those around you, causing others to unconsciously mimic your smile, giving them the same wonderful impact your smile is having on you.

Want to read more about it and see some of the research?

Check out this article on smiling from Psychology Today.


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Categories : inspirational


  1. Denuele says:

    I love smiling! In today’s fast paced, prescription-for-everything world, this post is a great reminder that we do not need a script, $, or an assistant to bring more good feeling to our lives! :)

  2. Payson says:

    Hey Denuele!
    Thanks so much for the comment! You are SO right! I remember reading about a study done with people who were diagnosed with depression and who *should* have been medicated. Instead, they were tasked with standing in front of the mirror and smiling at themselves for some number of minutes a day (I think I remember 20, but it seems like a lot). A very high percentage of them ended up being completely cured and never needing a prescription! Smiling can do WONDERS! :- )

  3. My singing teacher, always makes me smile when I sing. I of course, dislike it as a warrior but I am starting to see the goodness in smiling more. Love the article!

  4. Payson says:

    Can only imagine what a challenge that could be – must make you sound even more like an Angel though!! There is so much goodness in smiling. :- ) xoxo!

  5. Denuelle says:

    Okay that is a cool study and have to add that the POWER of looking at oneself alone in the mirror, really looking is validation. I am here. I am ok. I am enough. Just starting there can help any depressive (day) add a smile…your knocking it out of the ballpark!

  6. Payson says:

    You are so right Denuelle – it is great validation. :-) Louise Hay talks about looking yourself in the eye in the mirror and saying, “I love you,” over and over. Talk about powerful work!! Hope you have a great weekend! :- )