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Smile Revolution

Smiles are beautiful and brief experiences that take place so quickly we don’t think twice when they happen. Take a moment and watch children. They share their smiles beautifully and willingly; and if we aren’t careful, we might find ourselves caught in the moment and actually start to giggle or laugh with them. But as adults, we don’t smile so readily as children do. So, what about getting that smile together and sharing it with those around you? There are good reasons to do so.

When we smile we trigger neurotransmitters that help us to feel happy. According to a Psychology Today Blog, endorphins, dopamine and serotonin increase in our bodies and help us feel good. This may reduce stress and pain. Smiling may even help reduce blood pressure and heart rate. 1

Smiling helps us to look better and cheer our surroundings. If someone approaches us in a bad mood and we greet them with a smile, we will have a good chance of dissipating the bad attitude and perhaps get half of a smile out of the deal. After all, a warm and genuine smile can be contagious.

Smiling may help us in customer relations and friendships. Let’s say you have a job that requires you to sell couches to customers. When they see a genuine smile on your face, customers are more willing to enter into a business relationship with you rather than with those who do not smile. The same principle is at work when building healthy friendships.

Is a smile valuable? Researchers at Bangor University asked this same question. By using several economic formulas, they calculated that one smile is worth a little more than a third of a penny. That does not sound like a lot but if we smile frequently during conversations and in relationships, smiles can pay off in the long run. 2

So, what about dusting that smile off and test-driving it among family, friends, and co-workers? What about going into a room full of folks for the purpose of changing the atmosphere with a smile? Why not start a smile revolution.

Pamela A. Williams writes from Southern California.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

is a dietitian in Southern California.

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