Your face has 44 muscles in it that allows you make more than 5,000 different kinds of expression, most of which contributes to your smiles.
Let’s say you experience a positive situation where you receive a credit alert from a loved one after days of dealing with financial issues. This means that neuronal signals will travel from the cortex of your brain to the brainstem. From there, the cranial muscle carries the signal further towards the smiling muscles in your face.
It’s reflex! Spontaneous!
Once the smiling muscles in our face contract, there is a positive feedback loop that goes back to the brain and reinforces our feeling of joy and happiness.
Through the positive feedback loop which are of course powerful, your brain keeps track of your smiles – Like a journal of smiles. It knows how often you’ve smiled and which overall emotional state you are in.
Why Must You Smile?
1. It Makes You Happy
You’ll agree with me that smiling doesn’t necessarily mean joy or happiness.
There’s of course a thin line between real joy and mere smiling.
The act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy (even when you’re not). And when the brain receives this message, it releases endorphin, which, in turn, will make you feel good.
In 1984, an article in the journal Science showed that when people mimic different emotional expressions, their bodies produce physiological changes that reflect the emotion too.
2. It Makes Those Around you Happy
Smile, they say, is contagious. True!
If you’ve been in the same space with a person who got a really exciting news and let out genuine happiness, isn’t it almost impossible for you not to smile?
Ever wondered why you smile back at a person (even persons you meet for the first time) who smiles at you but don’t frown nor cry back when a person frowns or cries close to you? Except, of course, in certain emotional situations where you can’t help but cry too.
Ever wondered why people love the company of babies aside their being cute and innocent? This is because of how often they ooze out smile.
Babies smile on an average of 400 times daily, while happy individuals smile on an average of 40 times daily (please note – ‘happy‘ individuals). It is no wonder people enjoy the company of babies. This is what happens when you smile more often, people will naturally enjoy keeping company with you.
3. Smiling Attracts People To You
If you weren’t you, let’s say you had the ability to make an invisible You exist. If your body were walking down a path, and the invisible You were walking toward your body, with the expression on the face of your body, would you (invisible You) want to make friends with your body?
How’s the default expression of your face?
What does it say about you?
Does it speak friendly of you?
Does it repel?
Does it attract?
Ever had to worry about why people approach your friends and act like you were invisible?
Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People emphasized on and explained the effects of smiling.
4. Smiling Open Doors Of Opportunities to a Certain Extent
Something happened last week in class. I took note of it.
It was an afternoon class. Prior to then, we had a lecture in one of the laboratories, which made our classroom available for students in other levels to occupy. I guess they had a lecture there. After the lecture they had in the room, a few of them left the class to attend to one thing or the other while their bags were still in the class.
Soon as the lecture in the lab was over, we had to rush to our classroom where our lecturer was already waiting for us . The other students had to leave, while those who stepped out initially, still had their bags in the class.
While the class was going on, one of them came in and tried to get his bag, but the lecturer refused, to avoid distractions. Another student came in, and he equally refused.
Thereafter, a guy came in. This guy caught the attention of everyone.
Right now, I’m not sure I can picture the faces of the first two students, but the third guy? I’m smiling right now as I write this.
From the very entrance of the classroom, he walked in wearing a very heartwarming and bright smile. He walked right to where our lecturer stood. At first, I thought he had some relationship with him.
This guy with all the glory in his smile, said (still smiling) “Sir, please I’ll need to get my bag. I’m sorry I left it”.
Boom! Like magic, my lecturer became weakened by the smiling guy’s request, and reluctantly gestured for him to go get his bag.
What differentiated the third guy from the first two students? A mere action which cost him nothing!
When going for an interview, you might think that your chances of getting that job depends on your CV and dressing alone, we fail to take note of the dressing up of our faces. Smiling.
Real vs. Fake Smiles – What’s the Difference?
Whenever we smile, we activate two muscles. The first one is the zygomaticus major and it controls the corners of your mouth. Whenever this muscle only is activated, it’s not actually a genuine smile. Scientists call this the “social” smile.
The second muscle, known to show sincerity, is the obicularis occuli and it encircles our eye socket.
This is why even when a person has his mouth and nose covered, (probably having a surgical mask on) you’ll be able to tell if the person has a genuine smile on. You notice a little swell under the eyes.
It’s never a question of smiling alone, but letting out a genuine smile.
Smiling is an art. Learn it!
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