a) Makes you more attractive and charismatic to others
b) Builds your confidence and social skills
c) Neuroscience proves our emotions are contagious, therefore helps us become influential in a positive and fun way
Neuropeptides, the molecules that ensure communication between our neurons, are released whenever we smile. These neuropeptides combat cortisol (the stress hormone), as well as facilitate the release of dopamine, endorphins and serotonin.
Every emotion we feel is a released chemical message, from the brain into the body, due to our mental focus, creating our feelings and then guiding our behavior. By smiling more often we train our neurology, emotional make-up as well as physiology towards a state of happiness and gratitude. Our energetic field radiates positive energy, and in return the universe has the ability to match us with pleasant events radiating that same energy. Don’t ever underestimate the power of your smile, and even in the worst of situations you will be able to discover unexpected surprises coming out of that contrast.
Behavioral benefits in positively influencing others:
Neuroscience, through the study of mirror neurons, proved that we are reflections of one another. Emotions are contagious, and we can’t help smiling back at a child or adult smiling our way.
It is an unconscious automatic response residing in the part of our brain called the cingulate cortex. We are wired for empathy, we feel what the other person feels, be it pain or happiness, through what are called mirror-neurons( *1).
Mirror neurons are brain cells firing and wiring together when an individual performs an action, or when an individual observes another one performing an action. The mirror neurons system allows us to receive and interpret facial expressions at an unconscious level, because identical regions of our brain become activated when we observe someone else. Words teach and they open new frontiers through the ideas we absorb and then ponder upon, but we all know that the fastest way to learn is through mimicry and personal experience. If you ever wondered why professional singers, actors and athletes earn so much, now you’ll understand why. We connect through emotion, we get to feel by observing others, and those of us who know how to stir up emotions in others will get to reap the benefits of those skills. Psychologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, biologists, have all been keen in understanding why we automatically react with certain behavioral patterns when observing another person act a certain way. What is it in us that makes us understand and connect with each other through emotions such as empathy, sympathy, love, joy, enthusiasm, anger etc? Moreover, what makes a person decipher the intentions of another one, even when that intention is hidden by false words and body language?
It is emotional intelligence at play, it is the ability to understand your feelings by tapping into another person’s thoughts and feelings. We read other people’s minds and emotions at an unconscious level, and then decipher their hidden intentions.
Smile on and change the world with your smile, but never let the world change your smile!
Iacoboni M, Molnar-Szakacs I, Gallese V, Buccino G, Mazziotta JC, Rizzolatti G. PLos Biology. 2005;3(3):e79. Grasping the intentions of others with one’s own mirror neuron system.
Rizzolatti G, Craighero L. Annual Review of Neuroscience. 2004;27:169-192. The mirror-neuron system.