How Smiling Affects Health


We all smile hundreds of times during a typical day. Whether we are greeting a friend, meeting someone new, laughing at a joke, etc. we as humans tend to smile a lot. When you smile, a real genuine smile, you feel happier and your mood elevates. How is it that such a small facial movement can have such an impact on our lives and happiness?

Smiling is just facial muscle contractions. False. Smiling is so much more than just moving our faces. When we smile we are actually sending signals to our brain that in turn make us feel happy. But our brain is smart. It can tell the difference between fake smiles and real smiles. If you fake smile, uplifting signals are not sent through your brain, it is only with real genuine smiles. This is because when you fake smile the muscles that are being moved in your face are actually different than the ones used in a real smile.

In psychology, there is a theory known as the “What is Beautiful is Good Effect”. This theory states that if a person is attractive than we tend to assume that they also have other good characteristics such as trustworthiness or hardworking. This is why some of the most successful and influential people are very attractive. And what does this have to do with smiling? In studies, it has shown that when someone is smiling they are viewed as more attractive. People who tend to smile frequently are viewed as even more attractive which in turn also makes them look more successful. Smiling a couple more times a day can increase a person’s confidence and quality of life.


Not only does smiling correlate to success, the effects that we feel from smiling also improve our overall satisfaction with our lives. Your days will be happier if you smile, and you will feel more fulfilled. According to Psychology Today, “smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress”. So not only will smiling help reduce stress it also helps fight it off! Sounds like a pretty easy solution to eliminating stress!


The most known and last fact about smiling is that it is very contagious. When someone smiles at you, most people can’t help but smile back. And once you smile, you feel happier and smile at other people. It is a contagious cycle that happens to us every day. The reason that we smile back when someone smiles at us originates in the brain at the cingulate cortex. This part of the brain causes us to copy the facial expression of others. This applies to all expressions, not just smiling. Smiling is the easiest way to elevate your mood and health, and the simplest step to a happier life.

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