Today I sat wondering what pulls me towards a stranger,and the answer was not long in coming--a smile!Definitely!It makes for instant connectivity.The only condition is that it should be friendly and not sarcastic.
We have often heard that smiling and laughing promotes health and happiness but before writing this piece I wanted to find out if there were any scientific reasons behind this belief.And lo,was I surprised?Here are some facts for you :---
- Smiling reduces stress and anxiety.The movement of facial muscles sends a message to brain which releases larger amounts of endorphins,dopamine and serotonin--all feel good chemicals which make us happy.In this way it uplifts our mood.
- These endorphins also subdue pain.
- Smiling curtails the release of cortisol which causes anxiety.
- It boosts immunity by increasing the production of white blood cells.
- It lowers the blood pressure and heart rate.
- It is contagious.Seeing a person smile activates an area of brain which controls facial muscles and that person smiles in response.In this way it fosters all round well-being.
- Even fake smiles or laughter produce these benefits.
Have you noticed a smile makes even an ordinary face look beautiful?And raving beauties too,look better when they smile rather than when their expression is neutral.
A smile can open the gates to new friendships.Your smile conveys to the viewer that you like that person and are happy to see him.This automatically conditions him favorably towards you.His returning smile means that he too likes you and wants to be friends with you.
Smile more often if you are lonely.Some will return your smile and some won't.Approximately 50% return a smile.Even if someone does not do the expected,it does not mean he does not like you.It merely indicates that he has other issues on his mind.But the smiles which come bouncing back to you will definitely make you feel more a part of your milieu.
A smile is a valuable asset when you go to a party or meeting where you do not know anyone.Just smile when you enter the venue.Someone or the other will take it up from there and you will no longer feel like a fish out of water.
A person bowed down with worry forgets to smile and feels isolated.When you smile at such a person he is forced to come out of his shell.Your smile assures him that someone at least,cares for him and is willing to hold his hand.This small gesture of yours can pull him out of his misery.
A smile conveys many messages.It announces to the world that you are easygoing and not cantankerous;approachable,and not haughty;confident and not timorous.
A smile can also rescue you from an uncomfortable situation or nip an ugly scene in the bud.Imagine a scene where someone is ranting at you.Perhaps you annoyed him in some way or he is merely in a foul temper.Give him a smile and things will soon be back to normal.
As adults we get embroiled in daily tussles and forget to smile--an act we had mastered without being taught as infants.But making deliberate,conscious efforts to do this will give us profuse returns--in terms of health,happiness,popularity and career advancement too.
But a caution is sorely needed here--do not smile your way into a dangerous situation.There are plenty of crooks in this world.Take care that you do not smile at the wrong persons or allow yourself to be misled by a false smile.
Did I obliterate all that i have written above?No,just be cautious.