I just skimmed through a positivity post and I couldn’t help but notice one thing was missing. The smile. It is scientifically proven that smiling releases neuropeptides, these fight off stress! And can’t we all do with a little less stress? Next some chemicals come into play: dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.
Dopamine. This works in the pleasure center of our brains. It helps with both physical and mental well-being. So it helps with how we feel, and how we move, but also it helps our memory…obviously I am not smiling enough! Ha!
Endorphins. I think most of us have heard of endorphins. Mostly we think of endorphins being released when we work out really hard and then feel great afterwards, yep, that’s them. But you can get that same “runner’s high” by smiling! Okay, smiling won’t get rid of those unwanted pounds, but it will make us feel good, even great. Another benefit is it’s a mild pain reliever.
Serotonin. This works as an antidepressant. So enough said there.
So we have talked about the benefit to self, but how about benefit to others. Often times we smile at someone and they smile back. And truth is we could have just made their day. Or we may have just started them on the way to the benefits talked about previously, which, oh! could make their day!
One last benefit, well I am sure there are more, but one last for here. Smiling increases productivity at work. I can attest to this. I have had some low down jobs and when I compare my two worst it is obvious how a smile can do good. One job, before I had realized the benefits of the smile, I was miserable all the time, I did not do as good of a job as I probably could have. I was anything but a success. Now there were other things at play here, but it all could have been better if I just would have smiled as much as possible.
The other job was not a difficult job but it wasn’t the best of environments. Well, it was fast food with a moody boss. I smiled all the time at this job. I worked my way from minimum wage to a salaried management job with benefits in less than 6 months. My best tool? My smile.
Now obviously this does not qualify as a scientific study, but they are out there. This is just my personal experience showing that the science works. So when you are faced with something you don’t really want to do, smile. If you are stressed, smile. It hurts? Smile. It will do you good.