Smiling is good for your health — and business

A smile improves your looks and takes years off your appearance. Who doesn’t want that?

And it should be standard equipment for all people. I learned long ago that one of the most powerful things you can do to have influence over others is to smile at them.

Let’s celebrate National Smile Week, held annually during the second week of August. We are reminded to take the time to smile, to bring happiness to others as well as to ourselves.

If you don’t start out the day with a smile, it’s not too late to start practicing for tomorrow.

Smiling in the workplace is sometimes misinterpreted as a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’m a big believer in the proverb: “Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile.” That’s why I never underestimate the value of a smile.

The smile is “the symbol that was rated with the highest positive emotional content,” concludes scientist Andrew Newberg.

In other words, smiling is the universal language. Everyone understands a smile, and it makes you more approachable. Smiling increases your attractiveness, makes you appear more intelligent and improves relationships. Best of all, smiling is quick and easy to do, and it’s free.

Why did the “Mona Lisa” become one of the most famous paintings of all time? One possible answer is her unique smile. I’m still curious what she was smiling about!

The benefits from smiling are enormous, starting with your health. A smile is a natural antidepressant and elevates your mood. It can help your immune system, lower blood pressure and even serve as a pain reliever.

Recent studies also show that smiling reduces stress and anxiety, similar to getting a good night’s sleep. Children smile on average 400 times a day, while the happiest adults smile 40 to 50 times a day. The average adult smiles only 20 times daily.

British researchers found one smile can stimulate the brain as much as 2,000 bars of chocolate, Ron Gutman writes in “Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act.”

In his book, Gutman cited a Wayne State University research project that studied pre-1950s baseball cards. According to Gutman: “The researchers found that the span of a player’s smile could actually predict the span of his life. Players who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, where players with beaming smiles lived an average of almost 80 years.”

They listened to the late comedian Phyllis Diller: “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

Optimism — which is linked to smiling — is associated with a lower risk of early death from cancer and infection, according to Harvard Medical School.

Smiling encourages positive thinking. When you are dealing with a negative situation, a candid smile inspires positivity. It’s hard to think of negative things when you’re smiling. Your brain is telling the rest of your body that life is good.

If smiling doesn’t feel natural to you, then practice. Look in a mirror and put a big smile on your face. Even a fake smile can improve your mood.

Take a smile break. Remind yourself to smile at every opportunity. A good laugh helps, too.

Plus, smiling is contagious. Just think: You can help others improve their well-being by giving them a chance to smile back!

Mackay’s Moral: Wear a smile — one size fits all.

Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker