Science Proves That Smiling Will Actually Make You Happier

I was having a horrible day.

I remember walking to class with my head permanently fixated down not only because I had woken up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, but because my eyes were puffy from crying and there was a giant coffee stain smack-dab in the middle of my favorite shirt.

Yet, in the midst of my horrible day, a random stranger flashed me a smile.

Following the immediate shock of this kind gesture, I smiled back.

It’s been proven that, when you smile, changes start to happen both internally and externally. There was a lot of power in that simple smile. It made my day, improved my mood, and gave me the much-needed confidence I needed to walk into my huge lecture hall with a giant coffee stain on my shirt.

I know it’s hard to smile sometimes. But, I’m here to tell you to smile more. Not just for yourself, but also for all the people out their who might be having a horrible day.

1. SMILES ARE CONTAGIOUS

When you smile, people mirror your actions. Studies show that when facial expressions made by others are mimicked, the same emotions are generated back and a social response is articulated. This means that smiles are literally contagious. By sharing an effortless smile with a stranger you’ll not only will make their day a little better, but you’ll spread some much-needed happiness too.

2. SMILES ARE AN EASY MOOD BOOSTER

Research indicates that it takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown. Smiling can do more than just communicate to others your mood, it can actually influence it. Recent studies have revealed that by smiling, even forcing a fake smile, you can align your mood with the emotion your face is communicating and increase feelings of happiness and positivity. Seriously, how cool is that?!

3. SMILES CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

White blood cells work inside your body to protect you from infectious diseases and foreign attackers. Studies have shown that, when you’re smiling, the body emits more of these white blood cells than it normally would. So, in essence, smiling more will not only build your immune system, but keep you healthier too. Turn your frown upside down; you’ll thank yourself later.

4. SMILING REDUCES STRESS

As a busy college student, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with papers, exams, and extra-curricular activities. But, when you flash a smile, you release feel-good endorphins and also tiny molecules called neuropeptides which allow neurons to communicate to the body feelings such as happiness, sadness, anger, and excitement. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, smile, it will lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your body, and reduce overall feelings of stress.

5. SMILING MAKES YOU MORE CONFIDENT

Annie was right when she said that you’re never fully dressed without a smile. Wearing a warm, friendly, smile makes you appear comfortable and confident in any situation. When you’re doubting and feeling insecure, smile. It will give you the confidence you need to take on the world.

6. SMILES ARE FREE

The truth is, smiling is one of the only things that can improve your mood without costing you a dime. In a recent research study, scientists concluded that smiling can be as exciting as receiving up to $20,826. So, take advantage of this free way to spread happiness and, smile.

Shelby Nierman

Editorial Contributor, Purdue University Major: Developmental and Family Science / English Her heart belongs to: family and friends, Indiana sunsets, black booties, the county fair, and going on random adventures Take her away to: small towns, quaint London, ineffable views, and wide open spaces

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