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?