- A smile is a universal expression of happiness and recognised as such by all cultures
- A smile is the most frequently used facial expression It takes as few as five pairs of facial muscles and as many as all 53 to smile
- Regardless of the precise number of muscles used, smiling causes far fewer muscles to contract and expand than frowning
- Smiling releases endorphin and makes us feel better
- Even ‘faking’ a smile can lead to feeling happier
- People are born with the ability to smile (They don’t copy the expression, even babies who are born blind, smile)
- Babies reserve special smiles (Duchenne smiles of joy and happiness) for their loved ones
- A newborn shows a preference for a smiling face over a non-smiling face
- Women smile more than men
- Younger people smile more than older people. American males with high testosterone smile least of all.
- There are 18 different kinds of smile used in a variety of social situations
- Human beings can differentiate between the ‘felt’ (Duchenne) smile (of joy and happiness) and the social smile – ‘it’s in the eyes’ (literally)
- A smiling person is judged to be more pleasant, attractive, sincere, sociable, and competent than a non-smiling person
- A person who studies laughter is called a ‘gelotologist’
Can smiling help you to move forward? Are you lacking in confidence and afraid to be noticed? Practice smiling. Think of what you can ask people about themselves and jot down some notes. Try it out on a family member, friend or a colleague that you trust. Think about those people who seem to always have a smile and a word for others. How do they make you feel? You can be like that too.
You can choose to be permanently grumpy or you can choose to cheer up and smile! Have you been putting off the smiles? By smiling you will be releasing endorphin in your brain which will make you feel better. You can even trick your brain into believing you feel good by getting that smile on your face, even if you don’t feel like it yet. Do it long enough and you won’t have to fake it.