The Psychology of Smiling

How exactly do we smile?

Neuronal signals travel from the cortex of your brain to the brainstem. The cranial muscles carries the signal further towards the smiling muscles in your face.”- Dr. Sayed Atalla

Smiling impacts us greatly. The more we do it, the more it rewires our brain and releases endorphins. You know how you feel happier when you exercise? Well, smiling has the exact same effect.

Fun fact: children smile 400 times a day! “Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel” and when we are especially around children, we feel happier because they are always smiling. According to this LinkedIn article, when we get into adulthood, an average person only smiles up to 20 times a day. 

What is taking away our joy?

Women are apparently happier than men

According to this article, studies show that that woman who smiled the most lived happier lives, happier marriages and had fewer setbacks. It is also socially more acceptable for women to smile. Shouldn’t everybody be happy, though?

Recommendations to make your day more positive:

  1. Get an adequate amount of sleep. Shut off your TV, get off your phone and go to bed by 10 P.M.
  2. Drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is important, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
  3. Always start your day with a healthy breakfast and use this time to remind yourself what you are grateful for.
  4. Go for walks to get your endorphins going.
  5. Write down what’s on your mind. Get a planner. Be your own motivation.
  6. Stretch it out. It not only feels good but it also improves energy levels.
  7. Tell yourself that you will have a good day. Say it out loud, put it into the universe. The law of attraction is on your side.

Happy vs. Unhappy

According to this article, there are many differences between people who are happy versus people who are unhappy. Listed below are just a few differences. Do any of these resonate with you? What will you do differently in your life, if so?

People who are happy:  People who are unhappy:
Are self-confident Are more stressed
Compassionate Think negative thoughts
Love what they do Hate their job


Want to make a change and improve your life?

Here are 6 ways to get into the habit of smiling more, according to MattmcWilliams:

  1. Customize your alarm clock to say something like “Wake up, you handsome devil”.
  2. Remind yourself in the morning that you are going to smile more.
  3. Create a gratitude list of things you are grateful for in life, set reminders.
  4. Create cues to smile.
  5. Think happy thoughts.
  6. Smile at everyone you see, even if they aren’t smiling.


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