A recent study shines new light on the life expectancy results. Student ID photos were analyzed for signs of smiling, and those students were asked whether they had visited a health center in the past year.
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Students who smiled for their ID photos were more likely to have visited a health center in the past year. Smiling has also been associated with personal psychological benefits, too. One study considered a group of people who recently lost someone they loved.
The Power of a Smile
All of these participants briefly spoke about their relationship with the person who had recently passed away. Another study showed that students who smiled more during a speech were better able to cope with negative emotions and showed less distress over a 2-year period. Nevertheless, signs of smiling predict life satisfaction later in life. In the study from before that looked at yearbook photos and marriage outcomes, the surveys also contained a measure of well-being.
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At the time the yearbook photos were taken—when the women were about 21 years old—the more they were smiling in their photo, the more they said they felt a sense of well-being. More recently, researchers collected Facebook profile pictures from first-semester college students. These photos tend to be more informal than posed yearbook pictures. So they analyzed these Facebook photos for signs of genuine smiling and got in touch with these students again when they were about to graduate. Their results also suggest that this is at least partially because the smilers were more satisfied with their social relationships.
More research is certainly needed to clear that up. And before you interpret this evidence as a reason to smile more, I want to encourage some caution interpreting these findings. These effects are also pretty subtle. They reveal something about the nature of emotion and human experience. Smiling has a powerful impact. Even a fake smile can improve your mood. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.
Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling | TED Talk
Smiling and Social Health So, smiling is great…but how, exactly? Smiling and Mental Adjustment Smiling has also been associated with personal psychological benefits, too.
Smiling and Well-Being This one might seem like a no-brainer. After all, happier people smile more. Stay up-to-date by subscribing here.
Leave a Comment Cancel reply Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It can be an expression of love, of joy or of laughter. Smiling is contagious, as is laughter, and the only thing they cost us is whatever suffering we are holding on to. In the same way that each of us has a unique smile that can bring joy to ourselves and others, we also all have unique creative gifts that were meant to be expressed in the world. There are an infinite number of these little gifts and talents in the world and they live in each and every one of us.
Then pick one, give yourself permission to be a beginner and get busy discovering your gift! When we use our gifts and share them, much like a smile, our creations move out into the world around us like little bundles of love in motion. They have the power to heal, to move and to inspire.
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What a shame it would be to let these gifts go to waste. So today, smile and smile often. Smile at yourself, smile at a loved one and smile at a stranger. And whatever that thing is that you love to do, do it and share it with someone.
Play a song for a friend, write a poem for a loved one, paint a landscape for your sibling, photograph your favorite nooks of the city, sing your heart out for the birds, pick some flowers for your mom. And do it all with a smile, knowing that you are spreading love, joy and inspiration. Check out his website here.