Say cheese

Smiling offers several benefits

Graphics+by+Peyton+Sims.+Unbeknownst+to+many%2C+smiling+can+have+a+positive+impact+on+a+person%27s+health%2C+social+skills+and+future.

Photo by Peyton Sims

Graphics by Peyton Sims. Unbeknownst to many, smiling can have a positive impact on a person's health, social skills and future.

Story by Emma LeFors, staff writer

One of the most well known facial expressions is the smile. Some people do it quite often, but for others, it is like trying to catch a grizzly bear doing a backflip. Although everybody knows what a smile is, very few know the effects a smile can have on one’s well-being, as well as the people around them.  Here is why everybody should smile all the time, and smile big.

  1. It can make people like you. In a world where people are concerned with what people think, likability is very important. People are naturally attracted to people who smile a lot. The expression “smiles are contagious” is commonplace for a reason. Everybody wants to be happy, and a smile radiates joy. People are drawn to joyful people because their good moods rub off on others. 
  2. A smile doesn’t only lift someone else’s spirit, it can also improve  your mood.  Studies found that smiling reduces stress. When you smile, you trick your brain into thinking that you are actually happy, and then the brain releases endorphins that make you happier. Smiling may not instantly turn someone into Mary Poppins, but it might just make a bad day a little more bearable. Even forcing a smile can increase happiness which can boost your confidence.
  3. Smiling often at a young age also might lead to future success. Smiling during a job interview makes you seem more trustworthy and approachable. This leads to getting better jobs and promotions. Also, a study conducted in 2012 revealed that people who were generally happy as teengaerrs had higher income levels than people who were depressed and unhappy. 
  4. Smiling can make improve health. Scientists have found that depression lowers a person’s ability to fight infections whereas happiness can boost a person’s immune system. In 2015, a study concluded that laughter therapy helped increase immune function in women suffering from postpartum depression. Additionally, smiling can lower a person’s blood pressure.

Sometimes when someone hasn’t smiled in a really long time, it is hard to find the motivation to smile again. In circumstances where smiling seems less-than-preferable, choose an option below to turn that frown upside-down.

  1. Spin in circles
  2. Play pranks on friends 
  3. Jump up and down 
  4. Watch funny youtube videos
  5. Binge a sitcom
  6. Listen to Disney songs 
  7. Buy a teddy bear
  8. Hold a puppy 
  9. Eat ice cream
  10. Take a long nap
  11. Look at funny memes
  12. Play on a swing
  13. Go down a water slide
  14. Look at babies
  15. Buy new clothes
  16. Sing loudly in a car
  17. Dance around a kitchen
  18. Sing and dance at the same time 
  19. Exercise 
  20. Take a spontaneous trip
  21. Order a pizza 
  22. Read Harry Potter 
  23. Wave to a complete stranger
  24. Read a cute story about smiling