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5 Reasons why smiling is good for you

At the Hive, we’re all about authenticity, and part of that is providing an environment where real conversations can occur and meaningful relationships can arise. Because connecting requires vulnerability and vulnerability requires us to be honest with our emotions. When we give someone a real smile, people can feel it. So what’s the difference between a real smile and a polite one?

Also known as Duchenne smiles – real smiles are ones that engage more muscles in your face, causing your cheeks to raise, the corners of your lips to turn up, and the corners of your eyes to crinkle. 

So what are 5 reasons why smiling benefits your health?

  1. A real smile influences how others perceive you, communicating that you are trustworthy and generous. Smiling with your eyes is actually quite persuasive! 

  1. A real smile is contagious! Ever notice how when you smile at someone, they’re more likely to smile back at you? A smile forms a sort of “social glue” that builds a bond and creates empathy between people. Smiling makes us feel happier, and feeling happy makes us smile. Just don’t force our brains to decide which is the chicken or the egg here.

  1. Your stress response can be lowered by a smile. Even a fake smile improved how people felt during a stressful task. Not only did these manufactured smiles reduce heart rates, but also smiling improved how people felt about the stressful task in this 2012 study

  1. Your mood can be improved by smiling, especially during difficult social situations. A 2019 study showed that individuals who smiled during socially ostracizing experiences felt better than those who did not smile. 

  1. Smiling even when you don’t feel like smiling can actually make you feel happier. How can this be? Our brains take clues from our facial expressions to sort through our emotions. If we’re smiling – even if it’s a mimicked smile – our brain is receiving the message that we’re happy & relaxed. Check out this 2022 study for more info.

All this to say, if your smile is a little rusty, now you have 5 reasons to break it out. Stop by the Hive if you need a reminder, we’ve got you!

As the  Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Your joy can be the source of your smile, but sometimes, your smile can be the source of your joy.”

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