What Is A Smile?
A smile is a universal welcome remark says a man named Max Eastman. Scientifically a smile is a facial expression formed by flexing muscles at the sides of the mouth and usually the front teeth are exposed. Some smiles that might include the contraction of muscles around the eyes include an action known as Duchenne. Throughout the world, smiling is a form of communication between people. Smiling is also known to have the most positive emotional content. A smile shows how a person feels about a particular something. It is said that a smile is contagious therefore you must do your utmost to spread it and make the world a happier place.
Although it may only last a moment, the memory of a smile can last a lifetime. No one is too poor to share a it and no one is too rich to not need a smile.
Why Should You Smile?
1. It Makes Us Attractive
Naturally, we are attracted to people who smile. There is real physical attraction linked to smiling. As mentioned above, smiling is a form of communication and it can convey sexual interest. A female smile increases physical attractiveness and enhances the sexual appeal and women smiles are very appealing to heterosexual males. However male smiles do not have the same effect as women’s. Facial expressions conveying shame or pride on men’s faces are more appealing to heterosexual women.
2. It is a Conversation Starter
Smiling is the easiest conversation starter. When someone smiles at you even if it is a stranger, you will subconsciously smile back. This is because smiling is contagious. Smiling does not only help change your mood but also that of others. That is why some people are known to have the power of lighting the room. It is scientifically proven that the part of the brain responsible for controlling facial expressions is an automatic zone meaning that smiling can be a totally unconscious action.
The scientific explanation by the neuroscientist, Marco Lacoboni, states that our bodies possess mirror neurons – cells in the premotor cortex and inferior parietal cortex that get activated when we witness someone performing it. For smiling, mirror neurons respond to both the acts of seeing and doing.
3. It Improves Your Overall Health
The science behind a smile proves that the contraction of facial muscles helps activate happy hormones in the brain. Therefore naturally when a person is happy, stress is reduced. Smiling generates positive emotions within your body. That is why people who spend lots of time with smiling people are more happier.
Smiling is also said to boost your immune system. Your immune system will work more freely and more effectively when you are relaxed and are in a good mood because of the release of certain types of neurotransmitters.
Research shows that smiling lowers blood pressure. To prove it to yourself you might want to take your blood pressure not smiling and some few minutes later when you are smiling for at least a minute.
Smiling releases the neurotransmitters (that is) natural painkillers, endorphins and serotonin which make our whole body feel good. Smiling is a good natural drug that all of us must take everyday. Smiles elevate our mood, reduce physical pain and relaxes our body.
Even a forced smile can make you feel and positive. This is because even forced unnatural smiles send a message to the brain that everything is okay and life is good.
You are more likely to feel and look younger when you smile. The muscles we use during a smile lift up the face and makes it look younger.
4. A Smile Makes Us Look Successful and Trustworthy
When you smile at work, during a meeting or an interview, you give the impression that everything is under your control and that you have confidence. People who smile at meetings and the workplace are more likely to get promoted and hired than those who do not.
It is psychologically proven that a person who smiles is more friendlier than one with a neutral facial expression. Customers find a smiling employee approachable and trustworthy and they are more likely to purchase from or through that person.
5. It is Free
Giving a friendly smile does not require money. You do not loose anything from smiling but rather you gain the benefits of it. You’ll be happier and you’ll make everyone around you happier. Dale Carnegie wrote this on his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”: “A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.” Old Carnegie sure was onto something!
Types Of Smiles And What They Mean
There are many different types of smiles and they show the true feelings and opinions of a person. Note that not all smiles are happy smile. We have different reasons why we smile. A smile may be a simple expression but when you look into it deep, you find that most smiles are intricate, powerful and dynamic.
1. Closed Lip Smile
When a person does a closed lip smile, no part of their teeth show since the mouth will be closed. They smile only because it is expected of them to do so not because they want to or because they feel like smiling. A person might be trying to hide that they’re feeling uncomfortable. It does not always convey joy.
2. Loop Sided Smile
This smile is when one side of the mouth is lifted upward and the other side downwards. Some might have the loop sided smile naturally and in such a case it does not mean anything. But when it is not natural it shows mixed emotions. This type does not usually warrant you to smile back. It is most used when dealing with problems and when we are trying to find the right words and action to use.
3. The Embarrassed Smile
Usually the person will look down and frequent shift of the eyes and the cheeks will turn red. This smile does not tend to last long like the other ones. The person smiles because they feel they have no other option at the moment. However since the angle with which you bend your head can make you look younger and somewhat cute, some might use it to be secretive or alluring.
4. The Happy Smile
This is a genuine smile that shows that a person smiles from the heart. It is a heartwarming smile especially to the causer of such a reaction. The person shows that they like what they hear or see.
5. Open Mouth Smile
This type involves the eyes and the mouth. The teeth are visible and the eyes usually sparkle. It is an honest and genuine smile showing that you are really happy with whats happening around you. It is the best smile to use if you want to make people like you.
6. The Pan Am Smile
This type is usually used by sales people. It does not show how frustrated and angry the sales person feels because of the customers. It is a forced and fake smile and at times seems extreme. The name pan am came from the Pan Am flight attends who were trained to keep smiling for customers even when they were not happy.
7. Flirtatious Smile
It is mostly used by girls and women when they want to attract a male. It is done i such a way to show the man that you desire him and he is everything a girl needs. It works because smiling in such a way will improve our attractiveness to males.
Dating, psychology, and even dental websites offer advice on how to use your smile to flirt with someone.
Some tips are subtle: Keep your lips together and lift an eyebrow. Some are coy: Smile while tipping your head down slightly. Some are downright comical: Smile with a little whipped cream or coffee froth on your lips.
8. A Naughty Smile
This smile ( a cute wicked one) is usually worn by children when they know they have done something they should have not done. It is also used by adult people in relationships when they have done or are hiding a naughty surprise for their partner.
9. Fake Forced Smile
This type is used by a person trying to conceal how uncomfortable and how they don’t like something but fail at it miserably.It also shows that the person does not like you and is being just polite outward but deep inside they do not have a good opinion about you. They are very easy to spot and believe me, it will not make the other person feel good. So try to not use this as much as you can if you want people to like you.
10. A Polite Smile
We often use this smile when we a person for the first time or are about to tell sad news. It must be used in social situations where we must keep trustworthy friendliness and not emotional ties. It helps us keep a reasonable distance with others.