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The Power of a Smile

Updated on January 28, 2013

Benefits of smiling

The benefits of smiling are so much more than just showing emotion, kindness or encouragement. Smiling can have a powerful impact physiologically on the one smiling and the receiver as well.

Duchenne smiles are the most powerful of smiles. A duchenne smile is a true smile - where the muscles around the eyes are engaged. Although even a fake smile can help improve your mood, a duchenne smile has the greatest physiological effect on your body.

Smiling releases feel-good neurotransmitters and endorphins - The release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, helps elevate your mood when you smile. Smiling also releases endorphins, which are natural pain killers, so smiling can help relieve pain. A smile also decreases stress hormones, which in turn, can help boost immunity.

Smiling lowers blood pressure - There have been scientific studies indicating that smiling can help lower your blood pressure.

Smile for a younger appearance – Smiling works certain muscles in the face, which can help us to appear younger.

Smiles are contagious – Not only will your smile benefit you, but studies have shown that smiles are contagious and can have a positive effect on others as well.

A smile can improve someone’s day – How many times have you smiled at someone who you could tell was having a bad day and their mood improved upon seeing your smile? On the flip side, how many times has someone’s smile helped improved your own bad mood? I know seeing someone else smile has improved some grim moods of my own.

This will help crack a smile

Just for fun

In one of my psychology classes, my professor had us do an interesting experiment that showed us just how a smile can have an effect on us. Upon trying it, I found that it was interesting, funny, and the results were surprising. Try the following experiment on yourself and others. If you try it on others, don't tell them why you're having them do it until they've completed the experiment.

Required materials:

  • Pen or pencil
  • Funny comic strip

Here's how it works:

  1. Take the pen or pencil and hold it in place with your lips. The pen should be facing outward, in front of you. Holding the pen in your lips like this will cause a frown.
  2. Read the comic strip you have selected.
  3. Now take the pen and put it lengthwise between your teeth so that it causes you to smile. Each end of the pen should be in front of your ears, so the pencil is running lengthwise with your mouth.
  4. Read the same comic strip again.

Did you find that the comic strip was funnier when you were smiling? When we tested this in psychology class, it was found that most people thought the comic strip was much funnier when read while smiling. One person I tested it on didn't think the comic strip was funny at all until they read it while smiling. They laughed out loud while reading the comic strip when smiling.

Has a simple smile from someone ever improved your mood or your day?

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    • SunsetSky profile image

      SunsetSky 5 years ago from USA

      Thank you for the nice compliment William :) I am happy to hear that this Hub helped your day to seem a bit brighter. I was reminded of it today when I had a good laugh and felt better after my laugh. It's amazing what it can do to help someone feel better. Thank you again - and thank you for Tweeting and putting on Facebook. I appreciate it :) Blessed day to you as well!

    • SunsetSky profile image

      SunsetSky 5 years ago from USA

      cmahan, I agree, that goat is so cute, how can anyone not smile? :) Thank you for reading my Hub!

    • William Gerace profile image

      William Gerace 5 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Wow this Hub is superb! I really enjoyed reading it. I had a bad day today with work and this really made my day seem a bit brighter. I have anxiety and high blood pressure and can totally related to this. I will definitely be reading more of your Hubs. I will Tweet and put on Facebook too. You're a great writer!! Thanks for the beautiful article and pictures. Have a blessed day!!

    • cmahan profile image

      Chrystal Mahan 5 years ago from Michigan

      Smiling is the best medicine. My psych proff had us do the same exercise. And if that goat doesn't get someone to smile, I dont know what will!

    • SunsetSky profile image

      SunsetSky 5 years ago from USA

      Thank you for the warm welcome :) It sure is amazing what smiling and laughter can do for someone. And I love that it's contagious. Usually when one person keeps laughing, I start laughing. Blessings to you as well :)

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 5 years ago

      SunsetSky ~

      First welcome to hub pages I am so looking forward to more reads from you. I have had a wonderful journey here on hub. I am a still figuring things after a year here. I must say it has been a wonderful and exciting year and I know you will enjoy this wonderful writing HUB. Second I love anything about a smile. A smile can change the worst of days into a rainbow of hope. Once at a party with some women we had two tables about six feet apart. Our table was conversing and enjoying , but the other table was laughing at something just said so joyfully. So one of the ladies said, " let's just start laughing loudly for fun. " Well we did and within seconds we could not stop laughing and smiling. This is one of God's greatest gifts He provided a natural and healthy outlet for all things life can throw at us. Well blessing to you this weekend and again welcome:)

    • SunsetSky profile image

      SunsetSky 5 years ago from USA

      Thank you :) Your hubs make me smile as well. We have a lot of the same interests, so I always enjoy reading your hubs. I love that goat too. There is a goat down the road that brings a smile to my face every time I drive by. They are so adorable!

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks Sunset, I really needed a smile today! Great hub and amusing exercise. That goat is just adorable, he really looks as if he is smiling. Thanks and voted up!