Smiling is a simple thing to do, but it can make a huge difference in how we feel and how we’re perceived by the people around us. Here are some great reasons to give us a grin.

1. Our smile shows others people that we are likeable and helps us connect.
If a stranger or new coworker approaches you and gains eye contact with you and then treats you to a smile, you’ll have a fairly good idea that they are friendly and likeable. Which type of person do you prefer? A person that has a tired or overly serious face; an expression that may reflect their inner thoughts of boredom and worry; or would you prefer someone who is usually smiling and shows that they have an enthusiastic passion for life? Few of us would choose a miserable person to talk to whether it’s in our work or personal lives. Let’s face it– we all prefer someone who is going to be positive.

2. A smile can make people feel happy and is infectious.
When someone smiles at you, even a stranger, you usually smile back.  For that moment you enjoy a flash of positive communication without saying a word. It’s hard to feel unhappy, negative or sad while you’re smiling. Smiling gives you enthusiasm and drive. It is also habit-forming. When you spend a lot of time in the company of someone who smiles often, you will probably find that smile contagious.  It is hard not to return a smile; most of us do it at a subliminal level without thinking. So don’t wait for someone to start the happiness epidemic. Be the first to offer a happy face!

3. A smile makes you look far more attractive and memorable to others.
You don’t see many celebrities or media personalities that are not smiling. If you did, it is fairly certain their popularity would quickly start to drop! Have you noticed you remember smiling people more than those that are not? It is a fact that you are three times more likely to remember a smiling person over the one  wearing a negative or neutral features.

4. The effects of smiling can last for hours.
Whatever problems and challenges you have in your life, smiling temporary puts them on hold.  You can choose to see opportunities and become solution-oriented, and while you are in a positive state, you have far more potential and power to advance and improve your life.

5. Most importantly, smiling is good for your health.
When you are smiling, you may find whatever you are doing far easier. It releases stress, worry and tension that you may have built up throughout the day. Long term, developing the smiling habit will be one of the smartest things that you can do to improve your life.

Also, smiling is FREE!
You are never going to run short of smiles and will always have enough to go around.  When you weigh the positive points of smiling, it’s a no-brainer decision to do far more smiling and share them with as many people as possible.

Keep smiling!

You’ll find a whole chapter on smiling and laughing in my book, 21 Days to Happiness.

Ingrid Kelada

Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert

KCC Inc.