When You’re Smiling, the Whole World Smiles with You

Did you know that smiling makes other people think you’re smarter, kinder, more confident and better-looking? That’s the finding of research conducted by Robert Zajonc, Ph.D. of Stanford University, who concluded that a simple smile can have a profound effect on the way we feel—and on how others feel about us. What’s more, it can intensify our own personal feelings of well-being.

Scientists believe that when you smile, you constrict as many as 42 muscles in your face. This construction decreases the amount of blood flowing to your brain, and thereby cools your brain. Smiling also changes the way you breathe, causing more air to flow through your nasal passages, which also cools the brain. The cooler the brain, the happier we tend to feel. No wonder smiling feels great!