The price of a smile
How much do you think a smile would cost? What value would you assign to a smile given to you? How would you calculate the residual effect of seeing a smile, or giving a smile? What if your life depended on smiling?
This world is full of people who run around full of negativity– frustration, anger, disappointment. As their frustration piles up, they become contagious spreading it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets, making many around them miserable too. Frowns abound, smiles are scarcer.
Few people would argue that smiling is bad for you, but new research is showing just how many ways smiling is beneficial to your career and well-being. Here is a short rundown.
What research tell us about smiling
Smiling doesn’t just benefit you on the inside. It also works to your advantage from the outside. A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likable, courteous, and even competent. This is reason enough to smile at every person you potentially want to do business with.
Aside from your mental state, smiling can also end up saving your life, as Sondra Barrett claims in her book Secrets of Your Cells. The biochemist says that when you let go of tension–an outcome that smiling triggers–your cells let go of their rigidness. According to Barrett’s research, this could end up saving your life. Stress is a big contributor to heart decease, cancer, and other deadly deceases.
Lifting those facial muscles into a smile is also contagious; if you smile and others smile, everyone in the room becomes a little happier.
The other day a friend shared a great story about her son. Here is what she told me:
"My 7 year old son was playing with one of his neighbor friends. Noticing her drown face he asked if she had a smile. When his friend said 'no', my son replied: 'Here, you can have one of mine!' They were both smiling within seconds."
The power of a smile
Why is a smile so powerful? Because smiling can change your brain! When you smile, your brain is aware of the activity and actually keeps track of it (by noticing you exercised the facial muscles you use for smiling). The more you smile, the more effective you are at breaking the brain’s natural tendency to think negatively. If you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.
Scientifically speaking then, smiling more is a great thing for your life. It doesn’t cost you anything to do it and you can actually fake it and get the same big results. Yet, it’s value is as high as the value your life!
Your career might even take a turn for the better as productivity increases, your attention span and cognitive abilities are improved, and you exude competence everywhere you go. With all of the benefits above, who wouldn’t want to start smiling more? Successful people don't let other's negativity take over their day. They can smile and move on.
Remember. . .
Those who don't have a smile are the ones who need smiles the most. Be like my friend's son. Share one of your smiles. Smiles are contagious too. The more of them you share around, the more people you will see smiling. As a result, the more you will feel like smiling and the more successful you will be.