“Wipe off that “full of doubt” look
Slap on a happy grin
And spread sunshine all over the place
And put on a happy face.
A happy team is a productive team. Does success and quality of working life feed that happiness? Yes, but it is not the only thing that drives people to happiness. Smile and change the outcome. A Penn State University study confirmed that when we smile we not only appear more likeable, trustworthy and courteous, but we’re actually perceived to be more competent. And yes, at work we are more productive as well. While the brain is naturally inclined to think in negative terms as a defense mechanism, the act of smiling helps our mind move to a more positive space and remain there longer the more you do it.
So, what really happens to our brain when we smile? The brain has an amazing ability to throw a feel-good party right up there in the top of our head – without using drugs of any kind. The act of smiling actually activates our brain’s messaging system in a way that positively affects our health, happiness, and productivity. Here’s how it works.
Your Brain On Smiles
It all starts when we curve our mouth upward. This simple movement releases neuropeptides, which are tiny molecules that help the neurons in our brain communicate with one another … an effect felt throughout our whole body. Suddenly, whether we’re happy, sad, angry, depressed, excited, neuropeptides relax our body. Neurotransmitters release special feel-good hormones: dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These hormones can lower heart rate and blood pressure and literally decimate whatever is emotionally frazzling us.
Endorphins are also natural pain relievers. Don’t like taking a pill for pain relief? Leave it to your smile to deliver 100 percent natural, non-addicting, organic relief.
While endorphins are flowing, serotonin – another natural hormone – is released. This one acts like an anti-depressant. Pharmaceutical companies have manufactured synthetic versions of serotonin but flash your brilliant smile and you don’t have to worry about the possible negative side effects of taking a manufactured drug – and you don’t need a prescription from your doctor. Cool, huh?
Smiling Is Good For Business
So that’s the physiology behind the smile. Now let’s talk about what happens when you flash your pearly whites at other people. More magic happens.
A smile is contagious. Yes, it really is. The part of the brain that controls the facial expression of smiling lives in the same neighborhood as unconscious automatic responses. If you direct your smile at someone, they literally can’t help but smile back. Try it if you don’t believe me.
Faking a smile has the same effect on our brains as the genuine article. Our brain doesn’t know the difference. It interprets our facial expression, not the intent behind it. But fake a smile and direct it toward others and they’ll pick up on the insincerity in a heartbeat.
Smiling also works on the same principle as training our muscles to get in shape. The more often you smile, your brain remembers and sets up a happiness loop. Our brain is being trained like an athlete trains – by repeated practice. Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, lists smiling as one of the core principles of work performance and success.
Smiles are a major behavior skill that drives business owners, leaders, and the people that work for them to success. Smiles sell. Smiles improve communication. Even smiles printed on paper, objects, and those that are electronically transmitted have power.
Smiling Makes You Much More Productive
So smiling is a magical tool that gives to the giver and gives to the receiver. A smile, genuinely delivered, is nothing to laugh about – well, ok, it can be something to laugh about. Some of the perks:
The Smile Felt Around the World
The beauty, the simplicity, the elegance of a smile is a universal language. Like a picture, a smile expresses a thousand words. It is transformative. It opens up opportunities. A giant broadcast antenna, a smile has no geographic borders, is limitless, and a rich source for tapping into meaningful connections with one another. Don”t miss its magic power.