Why Smiling Makes You Feel Better

This post is by Jean Compton of jeancompton.com.

“Smile when your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking…” You’ve probably heard the song “Smile” made famous by singer Nat King Cole. But did you know that the music was composed by actor/director Charlie Chaplin? He used the melody in the soundtrack to his epic film, Modern Times. Through the years, The Little Tramp and his films have taught us a thing or two about smiling. But, did you know the following facts?


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It takes more muscles to frown than smile

There is some controversy about this. Some researchers actually think the opposite is true. But, however you look at it even if smiling does take more effort, doesn’t that bit more “muscle” make the effort worthwhile? 

What babies can teach us

Babies don’t start actually smiling before two to six months of age. Sometimes smiling can be so intense for babies that they have to look away. But don’t get discouraged because in a moment they’ll look back. And, when they look back make sure you’re still smiling as the engagement will teaches them—and us—that it’s a good thing to do!

Smiling makes you more attractive

When you smile at someone, it’s infectious—kind of like yawning. Have you noticed, that someone is much more likely to smile back when you smile at them? You know the saying, “Smile and the whole world smiles with you?” They say that for a reason. You want to pull people closer—not push them away.

Sometimes you just don’t feel like smiling

If you’re having one of those days, you can actually trick yourself into feeling better. If you make yourself smile, it may feel false at first, but something about turning the corners of your mouth up instead of down will actually start to make you feel better. Then you can turn what might have been a down day into a groovy, “up” one.

The eyes have it

Know how to tell if someone is fake smiling or genuinely smiling? Look at their eyes. If the eyes aren’t smiling, then you know it’s a phony look. Catch yourself when you do this. Don’t be a phoney baloney.

You’re wearing it

You know when someone is stressed right away as it always shows up on their face. Take time to put on a smile. Pretty soon you’ll be feeling less stressed and more productive.

To your health

Some believe that optimism improves the immune system. So being relaxed can help you ward off diseases such as colds and flu.

The “low”-down

Test the effectiveness of your smile. Try this if you have high blood pressure. Sit for a few moments. Take a blood pressure reading. Then smile and while still smiling, take another reading. You’ll be surprised at the results!

You’re so vain

Smiling makes you look younger! Frowning definitely ages you. You can take years off your face by not going under the knife but rather going into the frown-free zone.

As you can see, the life-affirming effects of smiling are numerous. So, learn from the music in The Little Tramp’s song. Sometimes it’s hard to smile. But, like the song says, “That’s the time you must keep on trying…” It’s so much more worthwhile … if you smile.

Want to learn proven relaxation tips from someone with over 20 years experience? Want to de-stress and change your life?  Visit Jean over at http://jeancompton.com/ for more insightful posts.

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  1. Bill Hicks had something to say about it taking more muscles to frown.

  2. Sean says:

    It’s true. There’s something about forcing yourself to smile that just makes you feel better. Pretty cool stuff :)

  3. Very good points made. Smiling is fun even if you have to fake it to make it!

  4. jean says:

    Thanks for your observations all!

    Anne: It’s interesting (and fun!) that forcing a smile (not always easy) even if you’re ‘faking it’ can actually make you start to feel better.

  5. Alban Brice says:

    Sure! Smile is a real medecine and food for your whole being!

  6. Tatianna says:

    I heard laughing can cure illnesses, so smiling can probably prevent them. I learned this trick that if I feel down, just making my self smile it makes me feel good almost immediately.

  7. Gillian says:

    I find even just smiling with your eyes, but not necessarily with your mouth, can life your mood and make you more attractive to others. I’ve tried the eye-smiling only thing in front of strangers and I get a much more positive response.

  8. Evelyn says:

    This is my first blog attempt…thanks for the positivity! I luv laughing out loud alone:-) It lifts my spirits and I am going to make LOL a permanent trait in my life…HE HE HE

  9. Chris says:

    Its true that smiling is positive, even if its a forced smiling.
    But i think there is a deadline each day. To force yourself to smile too often makes me very unhappy and i think “f*** you all these smile-faker”, let my emotions come out or im getting crazy.

  10. Sharlene Pastino says:

    Smile is great

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