Effects on the Person Smiling
Smiling has been found to have beneficial effects on the person who is smiling. According to an article on the Live Strong website, “A study conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation showed the act of smiling to dramatically improve one’s mood.”
Another study, conducted by Dr. David Beales, co-author of “Emotional Healing for Dummies,” found that “Smiling causes a release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain-relieving and feel-good hormones.”
Effects on the Person Being Smiled at
Research has also discovered that being smiled at has positive effects. The British Dental Health Foundation, again as reported on the Live Strong website, states that “Smiling increases happiness both in yourself and those around you.”
A comprehensive article on this topic was published in Positive Psychology News Daily. Entitled “Smile and Others Smile With You: Health Benefits, Emotional Contagion and Mimicry,” the article reviews 10 scientific research studies on the benefits of smile for the person being smiled at. The article reports the following findings of the various studies:
- When you smile at someone, their muscles maneuver into a smile as well.
- This process is also known as emotional contagion. That is, emotions are contagious. Feeling good is infectious.
- Mimicking a person’s bodily state or facial expression causes physical responses in the receiver’s body that are identical to those in the sender’s.
- If you mimic [another person’s] smile . . . your body will release serotonin, dopamine and other “feel-good” indicators.
- Frequent smiling has many therapeutic and health benefits. Smiling:
- Boosts the immune system
- Increases positive affect
- Reduces stress
- Lowers blood pressure