The Grin Is In

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smiling can make you healthy wealthy and… 

I’m an unabashed people watcher. I love observing people interacting. Call me a voyeur if you will but, I learn a lot from it. From these observations I have noticed that as far as I can tell human being are the only creatures that rely on facial expressions. I am fascinated by this. While animals use a grimace of sorts as protective measures or aggression, I have yet to see animals grin from ear to ear. I am sure if I look hard enough on YouTube I would find one.

Hugs, handshakes, high-fives, fist bumps, hand gestures and bows can mean different things in different countries, but the meaning of a smile is universal. Wherever you travel, if you smile you convey happiness and friendliness. Smiling feels good and looks great. Smiling could actually increase your life span and can influence everything from making you more attractive to helping you land that promotion.
Several studies have proven that smiling takes fewer muscles than frowning, but did you know that, even if you put on a fake smile, it will actually cheer you up? That’s just one of the fascinating facts about smiling that you may not have known, and here are several more reasons why you should smile today and every day… check it out:

Smiling is your first facial expression.
Smiling is a reflex action that you have from birth. Babies smile in sleep, from birth, but it takes around four to six weeks, before they start smiling when they are awake. Oh man, who doesn’t love a baby smile. So cute.

Smiling can give you longevity.
Smiling has many benefits, not the least of which is that smiling can actually help us live longer. People who smile more often are generally happier and, since smiling decreases blood pressure and releases endorphins, it’s a great way to boost health and protect your golden years.

Smiling makes promotions more likely.
People who smile at work are more likely to be promoted than those who do not. This is because smiling conveys a message of happiness, approachability and confidence, all of which are things managers typically look for in employees that are up for promotion. Smile your way to a raise.

Smiling has shown to boost the immune system.
Studies show that smiling and laughter may also protect you from the common cold. What? That’s crazy. According to recent data, smiling can help boost the immune system by decreasing stress levels, which in turn increases white blood cell count and releases beneficial antibodies that help fight infection and disease.

Smiling is infectious and addictive.
Come on…. All the cool kids are doing it. Have you ever been around someone who seemed to be smiling all the time? It’s likely you found yourself smiling as well. This is because smiling is incredibly contagious. Research suggests that happy people influence the people closest to them and provide a boost of good energy, smiles and laughter. Get everybody hooked on your smile.

Smiling is a stress reducer.
Put that Valium down. Stressed out of your mind? Try cracking a smile instead of cracking a beer. More recent studies have shown, smiling has the power to reduce stress and increase our ability to deal with trying situations’ like the one where you are ready to choke the living sh!t out of somebody. This is probably due to the fact that smiling boosts endorphin output and forces us to breathe deeper, resulting in a calmer outlook and less reactive state of mind. Don’t choke or smoke… smile.

Smiling can make you happier.
If you’re having a crappy day, make yourself to smile. Smiling can actually fool the brain into feeling a little happier. Take is with a deep breath and grin. Smiling may not fix all problems, it certainly has the ability to make us feel just a little better.

Wasn’t it the KB Toys slogan who used “turn that frown upside down”? I hear the company is coming back. I digress. Who knew that smiling could actually be so beneficial to health and happiness? With benefits like increased life span, greater happiness, reduced stress and boosted immune function, it seems obvious that a smile a day can truly keep the doctor away. So… remember… a grin is in. Share a coke and a smile. Well, maybe just the smile.


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