Smile

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a nice week.

Yesterday I competed in a speech competition. After I finished speaking my judges called me in to critique me. They didn’t really have anything bad to say to me, but one comment really stood out to me. The older judge on the left said, “You came in here smiling and confident. You weren’t afraid to inject your personality into this speech and it really seemed like you want to be here. It’s the smile that did it for me.”

I’m totally a smiler. Always have been, always will be. I’m one of those people who smiles a million times a day. I smile at strangers in the grocery store, I smile at my best friends across the classroom, and I flash my pearly whites at anyone who is willing to give me the time of day. As someone who used to be extremely shy, smiling was a way to communicate, without even having to speak. With smiles, we are able to communicate so much. There’s playful smiles, happy smiles, sad smiles, comforting smiles, naughty smiles. With your smiles you can be coy or confident, understanding or ecstatic.

Smiling is a really powerful thing. 

In a thirty year long study at UC Berkeley, researchers measured the smiles of students in their high school yearbook and then used this to measure how successful and long-lasting their marriages would be, how well they would score on standardized well-being tests, and even how inspiring they would be to others. The smiling students were more successfull, more inspiring, and had better and longer lasting marriages.

In 2010, a Wayne University research project looked into pre-1950’s baseball cards of Major League players. 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.

Another example. Being around children. Children smile OVER 400 TIMES A DAY. Why is it that we are happier around children? Because smiling is evolutionarily contagious, and it suppresses the control we usually have on our facial muscles. Mimicking a smile and experiencing it physically help us understand whether our smile is fake or real, so we can understand the emotional state of the smiler.

In a recent mimicking study at the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France, subjects were asked to determine whether a smile was real or fake while holding a pencil in their mouth to repress smiling muscles. Without the pencil, subjects were excellent judges, but with the pencil in their mouth — when they could not mimic the smile they saw — their judgment was impaired.

In a related German study, researchers used fMRI imaging to measure brain activity before and after injecting Botox to suppress smiling muscles. The finding supported Darwin’s theory by showing that facial feedback modifies the neural processing of emotional content in the brain in a way that helps us feel better when we smile. Smiling stimulates our brain reward mechanism in a way that even chocolate — a well-regarded pleasure inducer — cannot match.

British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate. Two thousand freaking bars of chocolate!!!!! I dream of this kind of stuff. Another study found that smiling is as stimulating as receiving up to 16,000 pounds Sterling in cash. Thats like 25 grand a smile. 

And, unlike lots of chocolate, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphin and reduce overall blood pressure.

And if that’s not enough, smiling can actually make you look good in the eyes of others. A recent study at Penn State University found that when you smile, you don’t only appear to be more likable and courteous, but you actually appear to be more competent.

Source: TED talk-Ron Gutman

Here are some quotes about smiling:

A smile is a woman’s most beautiful curve.

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.  ~William Shakespeare,Othello

Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.  ~Author Unknown

Everyone smiles in the same language.  ~Author Unknown

 I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.  ~Author Unknown

 I have a tickle in my brain.  And it keeps making the corners of my mouth point toward the heavens.  ~Jeb Dickerson

 and this last one is my favorite

A smile costs nothing, but gives much-
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it usually lasts forever. 
None are so rich that can get along without it-
And none are so poor that can’t be made rich by it.


It enriches those who receive, without making poor those who give-
It creates sunshine in the home, 
Fosters good will in business, 
And is the best antidote for trouble-
And yet it cannot be begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is of no value
Unless it is given away.

Some people are too busy to give you a smile-
Give them one of yours-
For everyone knows that no one needs a smile so badly
As he or she who has no more smiles left to give.

-anonymous

Smiling is amazing. It’s beneficial, it’s empowering, it’s paramount what a smile can do. It’s so easy to contract some muscles in your face. It costs nothing, and the reward is priceless. 

So REALLY.

SMILE, while you still have your teeth 😉

Love and a billion smiles :]]

-P

 

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