Smile... It's Contagious
A Smile Spreads Good Cheer- Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Smiling is the universal trademark of making people aware that you are happy. But there is more to a smile than just curving your cheek.
Smiling is known to give off a positive vibe which tends to be contagious and can spread a mood making people feel a little bit lighter. What is so magical about a smile is the ripple effect it causes. You might think a smile is just a smile but there is much more going on behind the scenes.
Smiling also has an ENORMOUS impact on those around us, and it is not that they will just smile back at you as well. It is so much more than that.
People usually smile when feeling pleasant. When experiencing positivity, the neuronal signals travel from your cortex to your brainstem. Then, the cranial muscle carries the signal towards the smiling muscles in your face. Sounds simple? However, that is only where it starts…once smiling muscles in your face contract there is a positive feedback loop that goes back to your brain and reinforces your good feeling.
You may have noticed that when you smile at someone, they smile back. When you flash your smile those around you notice your positive emotions. Mirror neurons fire in their brains and cause them to mimic your actions.
When you smile, it makes everyone in the room feel better because they, consciously or unconsciously, are smiling with you.
Have you ever caught yourself having a difficult day and being in the worst mood, but then randomly smiling and feeling your mood lift when talking to someone who is smiling, or seeing someone with smile? When you see a smile, your orbit-frontal-cortex activates, which processes sensory rewards. Therefore, when you catch another person smiling you feel rewarded, which is a good feeling, causing a smile!
Research also shows that if you smile, even if you are in a bad mood, your mood will improve immediately, because the simple action of smiling is enough to trigger happy chemicals. Do not believe this —Try it! The next time you have just received some unwelcome news, smile and patiently wait for a few moments as you trick your brain into improving your mood.
A smile can cut through all barriers. It knows no prejudice. No matter who or where you are, your smile will always be understood. A smile represents something bigger. It represents goodwill, affection, and openness. It wordlessly communicates happiness and acceptance. It connects and encompasses us all. The simple act of smiling creates a ripple effect of Kindness that spreads. Try this out for yourself.
- Spend a day smiling genuinely at every person you pass
- Take note of their responses
- Watch the happiness factor spread throughout the room