The incredible power of your smile: uncovered
Science of your smile
From Charles Darwin to Guillaume Duchenne – smiling has captured the imagination of scientists, anthropologists and psychologists for decades. But what exactly is it that makes your smile so special?
Grinning feels better than winning
Every time you smile, your nervous system releases a whole wave of powerful endorphins that instantly boost your mood. In fact, scientists recently found that a good grin can stimulate the same level of emotion as being handed £16,000 in cash
The good news doesn’t stop there. Regular releases of these ‘happy hormones’ can significantly lower your stress-levels too – reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.
Smile and the world smiles with you
Ever heard that smiling is contagious? Well, there’s plenty of truth to it.
Mimicking each other’s grins isn’t just to do with good manners. Scientists have discovered that replicating another person’s facial expression helps us to get a far better understanding of how they really feel. Meaning we can quickly work out whether someone’s genuinely happy to see us – or if they’re actually hiding another emotion.
The more, the merrier (literally)
There’s a reason why children seem so happy. The average child manages to cram an amazing 400 smiles into a single day. That’s 20 times the number of smiles the average adult manages to make time for.
Studies have shown that adults who make an effort to smile more often tend to go on to experience increased levels of success – from quickly working their way to the top of their profession, to being considered more attractive.