The benefits of smiling for you, your relationships and others are LEGIT. Smiling has been found to:
Decrease stress by activating the release of neuropeptides - tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate that you are ok
Lift mood, reduce pain and relax your body through the release of the ‘feel-good’ hormones dopamine, endorphins and serotonin
Positively change the way people treat you. When you smile apparently you are seen as more attractive, likable, reliable, competent, relaxed, and sincere
Help your immune system to function more effectively
Make other people smile. When you smile at someone their brain coaxes them to return the favor so you are literally making other people more happy, relaxed and healthy by smiling at them
Generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate
Make you look younger
Keep you living longer because of all of the above!
CAVEAT: People are excellent at detecting a fake smile, even if they do so subconsciously. So try and make your smiling as real as possible when interacting with others.
When in doubt, smile.
Amelia Kruse is a Certified Leadership Coach based in New York working with professionals and entrepreneurs globally.