"A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks."
I love that quote. It helps me to remember that smiling is one of the easiest ways to change the atmosphere of a room. Some people are like thermometers because they merely respond and reflect the attitude of whomever they come into contact with. But real leaders are more like thermostats - setting the atmosphere by choosing to be positive and energizing others, despite what everyone else is doing.
Smiling at people often causes them to smile back.
But did you realize that smiling has some positive effects on your own health? I came across these health facts in some files and I don't know who I should give credit or attribute these to(if you know, put them in the comments for me, please!).
» We use 42 muscles to smile. When those muscles constrict, they reduce the amount of blood flowing to the brain and temporarily cool it down. Scientists believe that the cooler the brain, the happier we feel.
» A study of 322 college students who viewed slides of smilers and nonsmilers found smilers are perceived to be optimistic, reliable, and to have leadership ability. The students felt the smilers were calmer, smarter, more sincere, kinder, and more sympathetic than frowners.
» Researchers at Loma Linda University School of Medicine found that smiling and laughing turn off the stress hormones caused by anger and tension. This in turn increases the activity of cells that make infection-fighting antibodies, thereby boosting the immune system.
» Smiling keeps your problems in perspective. Rod Martin, a psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario, found that people with well-developed funny bones are better able to handle stressful events than those with not-so-funny bones.
» Smiling triggers the release of endorphins just as exercise does. Studies at Texas Technical Institute suggest we can actually tolerate pain more easily when we smile.