How Smiling Can Improve Your Life

Everyone has gloomy days where it seems like nothing will go right. But then, someone innocently makes you laugh or smile, which enhances the day. It is a universal experience that demonstrates the power that a simple smile holds, as well as the influence that it could have on an individual’s day, or even life. One cheerful grin or beaming smile can illuminate an entire room, brightening even the darkest corners and spreading infectiously.  

Evidence shows that smiling really is contagious and that there is a logical explanation for this psychological emotional response. As claimed in an article from The Social Skills Center  ( entitled, “How Our Brains Are Affected by a Smile,” “The part of your brain responsible for smiling is housed in the cingulate cortex, which is an unconscious response area.” This area, as researchers found, causes one to smile not only when one is happy, but also when mimicking the expressions of others. This indicates that people empathize with whom we are surrounded by due to a mimicking response in the cingulate cortex of the brain. Therefore, every time an individual smiles at someone, the person will most likely smile back, verifying that a smile is “infectious.” 

Yoga and Mindfulness teacher Deb DeBetta agrees that smiling can cause a ripple effect. DeBetta comments, “It has been proven that smiling is contagious. I dare anybody to just go up and smile at someone, and I guarantee that you will get that mirrored reaction from somebody.” She believes that smiling is an important aspect of life and encourages people to smile more as it can brighten up the day, as well as surrounding individuals. 

Various studies have proven that smiling stimulates a reward system in the brain that results in a chemical reaction, which increases the level of certain hormones. According to the SCL Health website (, “When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins come into play too. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas the serotonin is an antidepressant.” DeBetta reiterates the significance of having a positive mindset to her students: “Your body influences the state of your mind because of a mind-body connection. When we engage certain muscles, the body impacts what is happening in the mind. Invoking a smile sends out serotonin, which can also reduce cortisol and boost your mood,” she reveals. SCL Health also claims that smiling can help recover from stress at a faster rate and reduce heart rate. This reflects the common saying “fake it till you make it,” which exemplifies the act of putting on a smile when an individual is in a bad emotional state because it can “boost” the person’s mood. 

Sophomore Kylie Schroeder was asked if she thought that “pretending” to smile could put oneself in a better state of mind. Schroeder replied, “Depending on the situation or scenario, faking a smile sometimes improves my mood. Other times, it does not affect my mood or change the way that I am feeling at that particular moment.” This illustrates the way in which even a forced smile can enhance a person’s emotional state. 

A Verywell Mind ( article entitled, “10 Big Benefits of Smiling” claims, “Whether your smile is genuine or not, it can act on your body and mind in a variety of positive ways, offering benefits for your health, your mood, and even the moods of people around you.” The article elucidates the connection between smiling and one’s health, state of mind, and other elements. It explains that smiling can result in elevated mood, reduced stress, lower blood pressure, positive mindset, improved immune system, appearing more attractive, reduced pain, longer life span, and even more effects. The article depicts the advantages of smiling, as it is a major aspect of an individual’s life.  

Freshman Eric Matern shares, “Whenever I am in a bad mood, I talk to my friends, and they usually find a way to make me laugh. It always makes me feel better and improves my overall day.” Laughter and smiles play a significant role in an individual’s life; they contribute to many outcomes, which encompasses both long term and short-term effects. Test it out and try smiling more often to see the positive results!