Quick, what is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble?
The answer is a smile. Smiling is one of the most natural and powerful social signals in the world. In fact, smiling is considered the universal sign of happiness. In group studies, scientists have found that people shown pictures of different ethnic groups are positively inclined toward any group shown smiling. Actually, if you smile before you answer your phone with a smile, you even sound happy. Studies in the UK found that a single smile can generate the same amount of brain stimulation that 2,000 chocolate bars or 16,000 Pounds Sterling ($25,000) can, which means a person can feel like a million bucks just by smiling a certain number a times a day.
What is even more interesting is newborns start to smile from around four months old, even if they have been blind from birth! Babies show different smiles when they see their mother (genuine) and when approached by strangers (social). Though science describes 19 different types of smiles, they are generally categorized in these two ways: genuine and social.
Physically, smiles lowers blood pressure, enhances the immune system, and releases natural stress reliever (endorphins) and antidepressants (serotonin). People who smile live seven years longer and look more attractive, successful and younger. Those who smile frequently in the workplace are more likely to get promoted. Smiles are found more attractive than makeup.
Try a simple exercise: when you notice negative emotions, your lips turned down, tension and frown lines between eyebrows- smile. It doesn't have to be a wide smile; it can be a small one, like Mona Lisa. Create happiness in this moment. Make your home a valley of smiles.
So, here is the secret: post the word "smile" or a picture of smiling lips in various places in your home and workplace including: mirrors, your computer, the dash board of your car, by your front door, and on your phone. Smile! Don't you feel different?