I have frequently written about the power of smiling. When we smile, there is a chemical reaction which causes us to think we are happy, even if we were not feeling happy before that moment. In addition, smiling at others usually causes them to smile back at you. (In fact, per a recent study in Sweden, it’s very difficult to frown when you are looking at someone who is smiling.) And, because smiling will make them feel happy, smiling at someone is a very nice thing to do for them.
I listened to a TED Talk by Ron Gutman, author of Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act.
He told of a several research projects:
- High school yearbook photos were reviewed. Smiles were measured and their size correlated with fulfilling and long-lasting marriages, and scores on standardized tests of well-being.
- Pre-1950s major league baseball cards were reviewed. The span of the players’ smiles predicted the span of their lives. Players who didn’t smile average 72.9 years. Those with a beaming smile lived to almost 80.
- To the point I made above, and have written and spoken about many times, a study was done where electric jolts were applied to subjects’ facial muscles to induce and stimulate the act of smiling, and that made them feel better.
Gutman’s conclusion: to live a longer happier healthier life, smile. That idea, in and of itself, makes me smile.
Do you remember to use the power of smiling? Please join the conversation with your comments…