April 21, 2014
Hi, Diane Eblin here. I’m very excited to start contributing to the Next Level Blog. As a certified health coach, I have worked firsthand with overworked and overwhelmed professionals, coaches and homemakers to help them discover and make the best choices for themselves. Here I will share those simple and practical insights that helped them and could help you too.
Have you ever had one of those days where everyone you walk past looks like they’re in a bad mood? Furrowed brows, a blank stare into space, a frown or all of the above – you know what I’m talking about.
But wait, maybe they’re just holding up a mirror and reflecting what they see. Maybe it’s you who isn’t smiling. If you have kids then you know exactly what I’m talking about. They are perfect little mirrors of what we’re expressing. But for those who spend a lot of time out of the home, your co-workers and the people you commute with can become your mirrors too.
Now picture yourself walking past someone who is smiling. I bet you can’t look for too long without smiling too. I bet you can’t even think about a smile without smiling.
OK, still don’t believe me. I dare you to look at these smiles and frown.
See, smiles are contagious and packed full of stuff that’s good for you.
So why am I telling you this? One of my goals in life is to help people smile. There are so many benefits to smiling and I’d love for you to get in on them.
Here are 10 benefits of smiling. What would you add to the list?
Smiling . . .
1. Makes You More Attractive
A smile suggests to people that you are happy, easy going and sincere. A study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that smiling makes you more attractive than carrying a neutral non-smiling expression.
2. Changes Your Mood
You know if you’re smiling then you’re creating a good mood for you and those around you. The cool thing is you can turn on your good mood any time, any day.
3. Is Contagious
Studies report that seeing someone smile activates the parts of your brain that make you smile too.
4. Relieves Stress
Smiling has been shown to improve your body’s response to stress.
5. Boosts Your Immune System
A study found that hospitalized kids who smiled and laughed at the antics of story tellers and puppeteers had an increase in immune boosting white blood cells.
6. Reduces Pain
Endorphins are the same chemicals you get from exercising and have been shown to elevate your pain threshold. Smiling reduces pain by increasing your endorphins.
7. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
As your endorphins go up your blood pressure goes down. I like how that works.
8. Improves Your Credibility
A study by the University of Pittsburgh showed the people who smiled are seen as more trustworthy than people with non-smiling expressions.
9. Helps You Be a Better Leader
Smiling creates a positive culture. It can also enable you to connect with the people in your organization. When you’re a leader, you control the weather. If you smile, they’ll smile.
10. Has Less Calories than Chocolate
According to The British Dental Health Foundation a smile gives the same emotional response as 2,000 chocolate bars. Oh, yeah!
So let’s try an experiment. Smile at the next 10 people you come in contact with and see if they return the smile. What do you notice about them and what do you notice about yourself? Share your results here.
(Image via hobitnjak/Shutterstock.com)
April 21, 2014