Jun 15, 2011

Smile Power Day

Smile Power Day ~ Quick Facts:
Every June 15th
Origin and creator unknown

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~Leo Buscaglia 

On Smile Power Day, we should make an extra effort to bring cheer to the world by flashing a sincere smile to all we meet. This simple act can bring about a world of good not only for the world, but for your well-being as well. 

Top 10 Reasons to Smile
1.   Makes us more attractive.
2.   Helps us be in a better mood.
3.   Relieves stress.
4.   Helps the immune system work better.
5.   Lowers your blood pressure.
6.   Releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin.
7.   Lifts the Face and helps you look younger.
8.   Helps you appear more confident, more successful.
9.   Helps you have a positive attitude.
10. Smiling at others can help change their mood.

According to an excellent article found at PsyBlog, studies have found that:
  • Genuine smiles send the message that we are trustworthy.
  • People who are caught doing something wrong have more leniency shown towards them if they smile.
  • Smiling after an embarrassing event evokes empathy from observers.
  • We smile at other's happy news in an unconscious attempt to save ourselves from feeling guilty later if we had seemed indifferent.
  • Smiling during upsetting situations reduces distress, although it may be viewed by others as an unlikeable trait.
  • In nervous situations, smiling helps increase our attentional flexibility, and helps us see things more holistically.
  • In the dating scene, when a woman establishes eye contact and smiles at a man, she is more likely to be approached by the man, while the opposite is true in the reverse situation, woman have a tendency to view men as more masculine if they show signs of pride or even shame rather than displaying happiness.
  • A genuine smile (Duchenne smile) involves more than upturned lips, the important added component involves crinkling in the corners of the eyes. It is possible for a crafty actor to fake a genuine smile, but it isn't very easy. It all has to do with timing. The key to a trustworthy smile is a slow onset, it takes about half a second to spread across the face, as opposed to a fast onset, which is about a tenth of a second. Slow onset smiles are more trustworthy, authentic, and flirtatious.
  • Smiling on the job can make you more money, especially in the hospitality industry, but it can also add to "burn-out".
  • In a study performed by Hinsz and Tomhave, researchers tallied how many people smiled back after being smiled at, results suggested that only about 50% of people reciprocated. 
  • Smiling adds years to your life. A study taken of baseball players pictures from 1952 suggests that the broader the player's smile the longer they lived.
Here is a fun video from Ted.com about the science of smiling by Ron Gutman.

Sources: About.com  PsyBlog
Image: Smile Originally uploaded by Murtada Md Nor

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