I always find it cute and when I’m walking down to work and come across a stray dog with an almost human-like grin on its face. I know it’s not really smiling at me, but it never fails to make my day, especially if I’ve got up on the wrong foot that morning. No other creature than humans ourselves are capable of showing their feelings of joy and happiness through facial expressions, and yet, we often forget to do this during our busy days. Can a dog actually be happier than us?
It’s no breaking news that smiling and laughing has its benefits on your mental and physical health. Keeping a generally cheerful attitude is good for you in so many ways, but having in mind you’ve probably already heard all the usual ones (we’ve had quite enough of “releasing endorphins”, thank you), I’ll try and put light on some fascinating new reasons you should smile more often.
It boosts your immune system
Hardly believable but very, very true. Our organism maintains itself in good condition by fighting off any potential infection that might enter inside. This is done with the help of white blood cells which make up only 1% of the total amount of blood in our body, but are very important for our immunity. When you smile sincerely, your body starts producing more antibodies and white blood cells that protect your health.
It’s important to your kids
If you were having a bad day wondering what can a smile do to make it better, this will motivate you to crack up one immediately. No matter the age of your kids, even when they’re just little babies, they sense the parent’s energy. When you’re feeling depressed or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, they’ll start feeling the anxiety too. If you want to help them grow up into healthy individuals, you better start smiling at even the littlest things!
Anyone can understand you
They don’t call the smile a universally understood language for nothing. Wherever you find yourself travelling to, not really knowing the language, a big, honest smile will make anyone more pleasant and eager to help you. Whether you’re asking a stranger on the street for directions or buying a latte at the nearest Starbucks, nobody will want to talk to a frowned face.
It develops your sense of humor
While some people naturally have the gift of being funny and entertaining, the rest of us have to work harder to make a good impression. Even though smiling comes spontaneously to us most of the times, it’s not a bad idea to start doing it consciously on a daily basis. The more we see the positive in things, the more we’ll be able to communicate in a fun and interesting way. Start practicing with some funny riddles and answers to get inspiration for your next social gathering.
It makes you smarter
Wow, really? Well, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds, but again, it goes to show that all good things start with a smile. Clearing your head from all the negative thoughts you’ve accumulated during the day preps you up to start the next morning fresh and cool. When you’re not worrying about this and that, your brain actually has more energy to focus on the intellectual challenges your work poses. Nothing that you didn’t already know, but good to be reminded about.
Basically, it all comes down to maintaining a positive state of mind. Whenever you’re feeling overloaded, just keep your head up and show the world your lovely smile. Or, in the words of Disney’s Madagascar penguins, “Just smile and wave boys. Just smile and wave.”