There are also social benefits to smiling. When you give a smile, you nearly always get one back. This reciprocal effect is one of the reasons that I enjoy smiling. In fact, it has always puzzled me a little when I look at someone and they give me a warm and interesting smile. I asked a friend about this once, and he said that I always (mostly) walk around with a little grin on my face. When I meet another person, they respond to what they see. Try it. If people don't smile back, at least they will wonder what you've been up to.
NOW, there is a negative side. In support group meetings, I've learned that many people who are chronically depressed are still functioning smilers. The drawback to that is that your acquaintances may not take your depression seriously (or believe in it at all) if you have a grin on your face.
I don't know why I smile as much as I do. For some reason, it just comes naturally. No matter how depressed I am, if someone speaks to me, I respond with a smile. I've had people remark about my "face lift" all of my life. A cousin who I hadn't seen in thirty years once said, "If I had met you on the street, I wouldn't know who you were, but I would recognize that smile anywhere." For good or for evil, that's just the way I am. Sometimes, I just wish that I didn't give the false impression of being "happy go lucky."
Still, I think Mark Stibich, Ph.D. has given us 10 good Reasons To Smile.
01-Smiling makes us attractive. We are drawn to people who smile. Frowns push them away.
02-Smiling changes our mood. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.
03-Smiling is contagious. It can light up the room and make others happier.
04-Smiling relieves stress.
05-Smiling boosts your immune system. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.
06-Smiling lowers your blood pressure.
07-Smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers and Serotonin. Smiling is a natural drug.
08-Smiling lifts the face and makes you look younger.
09-Smiling makes you seem successful.
10-Smiling helps you stay positive. When we smile, we tell our self that life is good.
Even though I don't always feel like it, I'm giving my vote for the sweetest expression in the world. If you are one of those people who have been frowning for so long that your face has frozen, take advantage of Newton's Law of Gravity and stand on your head. What goes down might go up.