4 Tips to Smile More for National Smile Week

National Smile Week - smiling childrenThese children in Uganda show that smiles universally show
friendliness and happiness, around the world.
(Photo by Jake Stimpson)

Most of us like to be smiled at. It makes us feel better. We see the smiling person as friendly and approachable. However, since there are all different kinds of smiles, and sometimes smiling can mean something else such as nervousness or fear, but when we see a smile, we tend to think about happiness and joy.

Facts to Smile About

Studies show that people are fairly accurate in determining a real smile from a fake smile. The “duchenne” smile is the real one, named after the scientist who studied the facial muscles to find out which ones were used to show genuine warmth. A genuine smile involves not just the mouth but the muscles around the eye sockets, too.

Happy children smile constantly – up to 400 times per day – while happy adults may smile 50 times. An average adult smiles about 20 times per day. Smiles have been correlated to all sorts of positive outcomes, including longer lives, more successful careers, and a better outlook on life.

Behaviorists recommend learning to smile more as a way to improve your life. There’s something about smiling that affects regions of the brain in a good way. The act also releases endorphins that make you feel good.

The Smile Experiment

The “Smile Experiment” was created by 6-year-old Jaden Hayes along with his cousin. Jaden had recently lost both of his parents and said he was tired of seeing so many sad faces. He took to the streets of Savannah, Georgia, armed with small giveaways such as rubber ducks and beads, with the goal to collect 500 smiles from people. He caught media attention and has also been sent smiles from other countries. This act of smiling has encouraged Jaden to meet new people and to find the happy side of life again.

4 Tips to Smile More

Since there is no downside to smiling, do it more!

1) Start the Day with a Smile

When you get up in the morning, smile first thing. Think happy thoughts in that one moment; it will set the tone for your day.

2) Smile at Others

Smile at all you meet. This is one exercise that will grow by trying. The more you smile at someone, the more you get smiles in return. It makes it easy to smile.

3) Visualize Smiles

Use smiles in visualizations. Many people try to visualize a better life or even a great tennis stroke. By smiling during your visualizations, you cue your brain that want you wanted to happen, actually did, and then your body and mind can change more easily to the desired behavior.

4) Smile at Yourself

Smile at yourself in the mirror. By practicing, you find out what a genuine smile feels like. If you have a hard time doing this, think about someone you love while you practice, to bring positive emotions into your smile. Once you know how it feels to really smile, it’s easy to repeat.

When you smile, you are perceived to be a positive person. Smiling can diffuse tense situations, make someone feel more comfortable, and break the ice. For someone going through a tough time, a smile can brighten their day. You never know how badly someone may need a smile. Since the health and success benefits are also there for the one smiling, it’s a win-win situation all around.

 

This week, celebrate National Smile Week with us! #ShareaStory or a smile with us in the comments below.

About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.

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