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A Wonderful Expression - the importance of smiling a beautiful smile

Updated on June 19, 2013

Great Smilers


It takes only 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown - so one wonders why people waste precious effort on being glum than giving themselves a good prep-up. Most of us are so consumed with problems and being negative that we do not notice the benefits of an easily accessible and automatic pick-me-up - the smile. All of us should embrace smiles, make ourselves happy and bring the positive into our lives.


What can we get out of a smile?

Smiling, to most of us, would be a rather trite concept that we seldom think about and do rather automatically and sometimes pedantically. We do not consider the benefits of widening the grins on our faces - very often, it is done out of need (take posing for photographs, for example, or socializing.) We do not see how important it can really be as a health and interpersonal relationship booster - we know that it is good for us, but often think of smiling as being too trite of an activity to do as often as we should.


Smile to enhance your social and professional standing.

Smiling has benefits that boost one’s social, and even professional life. Those who do so more often are far more successful than those who are not - it only takes a minute to think of success stories who are that way because they smile more. It is so natural for us to gravitate towards such people.

Wouldn’t you trust someone who smiles?

People trust you more when you smile. They tend to gravitate more to you and rely on you more if you have a wide grin on your face; it simply increases comfort levels and puts you in a better light in the eyes of another party.

A waitress at a Chinese Restaurant seafood lovers often patronize in Singapore, Ah Yat Seafood, has the knack for smiling that wins our trust every time. As it so happens, many customers rely on her to secure the bookings of private dining rooms and she gets a hefty commission - so the rapport she created with customers benefits her greatly. Her interpersonal skills have, of late, landed her the position of restaurant supervisor.

Smiling is a pleasant virus.

I cannot help thinking of Frank Sinatra's When You’re Smiling as I write this because of the truth of his words - when you are smiling, indeed, the whole world smiles with you (or at least half the world does.) Statistics show that when one smiles, at least 50% of those around him or her will respond - it is just an automatic reaction to something that says “I like you.” It is a lovely virus that everyone does not mind having (in fact, the only virus one does not mind having).

Smiling is therefore a must for the perfect party host; no one wants to attend a party where faces are long and conversation languid. It first starts with the person hosting the party - when he begins to smile, the crowd automatically joins in and starts enjoying themselves along with him. Trite, but as we all know, but a difficult skill to master.

Smile if you want people to pay attention to you.

Smiling draws more people to you. We tend to ignore those who are throwing tantrums or sulking; the mere chagrin on their faces can be enough to put us off. We will always, ironically, pay less attention to those who are sulking to get our attention - they simply annoy us.

Salesgirls always pay more attention to the customer who approaches with a smile than the grouchy complainer - it is a simple, natural human reaction.

You don’t need plastic surgery if you smile.

There is no need for plastic surgery - smiling already does a very good job that puts plastic surgeons out of business. When we smile more, we feel and look younger - really, there is no need for contrived make up products.

I remember once being upset and having a colleague console me by saying that I look prettier and younger when I smile. I take her words as truth - I do prefer myself that way when I look in the mirror!

Smile to get over the nerves.

Try this trick at your next job interview or meeting - it works wonders for you. When you are shaking in your shoes, smile - you soon forget the surrounding pressure and will be able to move forward in better spirits. That interview has a better chance of being secured!

I always get my students in my choir to smile when they are nervous before a performance - before long, they forget the stress that comes from being on stage and perform a lot better than expected. The applause they get, of course, is more rapturous.

Smiling changes our moods

Smiling is guaranteed to put us in a better frame of mind. It may not change untoward states of affairs, but smiling will at least guarantee that you feel a little bit better. This does, as we all know, take a little bit of effort.

When the day is bad, try smiling to yourself. It will not be long before you start feeling just a little bit better. I often do so when I experience Writer’s Block - the ideas come a whole lot faster than if I pressurize myself with a frown!

Smile to cover up you social slip ups.

We all experience that awkward moment at parties or work - someone says something they should not, and the domino effect of the frown is started. The smile turns things around very quickly and a lighter mood is restored.

Try smiling when the awkward moment happens. Before long, residual unhappiness is in the past and activities do move forward.

Smile to lend someone a helping hand.

Smiling helps others resolve their hurt feelings faster - seeing someone smile comforts and warms. It is the perfect medication for hurt feelings, including your own.

This works especially well for younger children - they recover so quickly from scoldings and grievances when someone smiles at them. If we can be a bit more childlike and accept it, the medication can work for us too.


Smiling does improve your health.

Smiling releases our endorphins and relieves pain.

Smiling releases endorphins - essential neurotransmitters for well-being. This is why awkwardness and hurt feelings are resolved a lot faster with a smile -it generates a feeling of wellness that no medication can provide.

Smiling also acts as a pain reliever - we forget our pain when we smile. I once had acupuncture administered to me and the acupuncturist told me to forget the pain of the tons of needles on my legs by smiling - it worked. The pain was very quickly forgotten.

Smile and focus!

No, those are not the words of a professional photographer.A good smile helps us to focus our attention on our work - we concentrate better when we feel good about the things we are doing. Conversely we feel worse, not better, after crying - it only serves to remind us of the unhappy things that have happened before.

I prefer to smile while I am writing - it helps me to generate better words and phrases to enhance my work, and articles flow a lot better as a result.

Smiling boosts the immune system.

When one is more relaxed. the body’s immune function works a lot better. A stressed up- frowning person is more likely to be susceptible to the flu than one who is cheery and well adjusted.

Take a look at your colleagues at work - those who are prone to grumbling and frowning are the ones who will probably have greater health problems. One of them could be yourself.

Smile and relieve your stress.

When one is stressed , a few things can happen - digestion goes into disarray, blood pressure is increased and so are blood sugars.

When one takes time to slow down and his or her expression changes, stress automatically reduces - and one immediately starts feeling a whole lot better.

With all this, how can you help but live a longer life?

With positive changes to the immune system and blood pressure, who can help but live a bit longer with a smile? Smiling simply attracts positive consequences and acts as a boost to our health. A study performed on baseball players in 1952 showed that players who smiled less were out lived by their smiling counterparts by seven years (Abel and Kruger, 2010)

When you're smiling -Frank Sinatra

5 fun facts about smiling

Here are a few things that we may be interested in knowing about smiling - and perhaps encourage us to smile a bit more!

The first thing that babies learn is to smile.

Babies enjoy smiling in their sleep, as though they are having the sweetest of dreams.

Observe your newborn - you just might find that he smiles more in his sleep. The sight is sure to soothe frazzled nerves.

The difference between a sincere smile and a merely polite one is in the number of muscles used.

A polite smile requires less exertion - a sincere on requires the use of muscles on both sides of the face.

Having said that, it is definitely exertion that makes a person feel better.

Women look better smiling than all made up.

This may seem rather subjective, but a woman who smiles looks far more attractive than one who is made up. People still prefer looking at a lady who smiles than one with cakes of make up, but frowns.

Women smile more than men.

Again, this is rather more subjective, but women smile a lot more than their male counterparts, primarily because they are expected to be more nurturing and social.

The situation is variable according to role and context.

Smiles are the most relatable and recognizable human expressions.

We automatically prefer talking about smiling rather than frowning - smiling is a positive expression.

Perhaps this is why smiles are recognizable from 300 feet away - and people are more likely to call out to their friends when they smile.

Smiling simply attracts the positive - when we smile, we not only make someone’s day, we make our own socially, emotionally and physically.


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