So, to celebrate World Smile Day on Friday, why not turn that frown upside down, and give those chuckle muscles a workout?
Why smiling is good for you
1. Smiling can reduce anxiety levels and lower the heart rate if you’re in a stressful situation. It can also lower blood pressure and improve digestion.
2. Smiling can lift your mood even if you’re feeling down in the dumps as it releases feel-good endorphins and can lead to a good old belly laugh to boost your immune system.
3. Smiling makes you look better – 96% of adults believe a nice smile makes people more attractive to the opposite sex.
4. Smiling can help you get a job. It’s not just what you’re wearing that makes an impression, your facial expressions do too. So if you want to land that dream job, tell your face to buck its ideas up.
5. Smiling exercises muscles. Your body can use up to 53 muscles just with the simple act of smiling, so it burns more calories than you might think. The more you smile, the less exercise you need to take!
6. Smiling is contagious. A happy person lights up the room and lifts the spirits of those around them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.
Ideas to cheer up those around you
It’s impossible for everyone to be happy all the time, but there are a number of simple ways to spread a little mirth and joy.
If you know someone who’s going through a tough time or you just want to let someone know how much you care, send them a bouquet of flowers with a personal message to boost their morale.
2. Surprise gifts
Everyone loves receiving presents – particularly when it’s not even their birthday or Christmas. Your gift doesn’t have to cost the earth, it could just be a book with a note left inside. Alternatively, your present could be something you’ve made yourself to make it even more personal.
3. Good turn
Doing someone a favour, or volunteering your time to help someone – for example an elderly neighbour – is one of the best ways to lift people’s spirits and will make you feel good about yourself too. Happiness doesn’t have to cost a thing.
4. Email or text
Receiving an email or text that isn’t marketing, work-related or spam can brighten up a person’s day, even if it’s just to say “Hi, how are you?”. Another idea is to send a friend a funny video or leave a wacky phone message that is guaranteed to raise a chuckle.
5. Go for a coffee
Listening is another helpful way to make someone feel better about themselves, as it shows you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say. So take a friend for a drink at a place where they can relax and get whatever’s bothering them off their chest.
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