How tired are you of hearing “unprecedented times”…or “2020 am I right?” But this has been a year unlike any other, so here are some reminders on the benefits of smiling:
1. It’s contagious. According to scientific research, our brains have a tendency to mimic people we’re talking to. So if YOU smile, THEY’RE more likely to smile too.
2. It can boost your mood . . . even if you’re faking it. There’s an idea in psychology called the “facial feedback hypothesis,” and it suggests that forcing a smile even when we don’t feel like it can be enough to lift our mood slightly.
3. It can make you feel better physically, too. Science has found that a big, genuine smile can boost your immune system, decrease cortisol in your body, reduce blood pressure, and release endorphins, all of which can make you feel better.
4. It makes you sound friendly. Smiling when you talk on the phone or on a Zoom call makes you sound happier, friendlier, and more engaging.
5. It could help you get out of trouble. Research has found that people are more likely to forgive someone if they smile while apologizing. Now, you don’t want to look HAPPY about the mistake . . . but an embarrassed smile where you smile and look down is especially effective.