Smile Therapy

My favorite thing about being part of Ruby Receptionists is that I get to make someone’s day a little better.  Whether it is getting an important call to the right person or just being friendly to a caller who hasn’t had such a good day, I get to be bright and cheery and make the caller feel special for a few minutes.  Some days, though, I’m a grouch.  We all have them: those days when you just don’t want to get out of bed and it all goes downhill from there.  The good news is that there is an easy solution.

They say that laughter is the best medicine, but you don’t even have to let out a chuckle to reap the many benefits that come with smiling.  You don’t even have to feel like smiling to get those feel-good rewards, either.  In an often-cited study, researchers gave participants a pencil to hold while they read a comic strip.  One group held the pencils between their pursed lips while the other group held them between their teeth.  The teeth-holding group (the group able to smile) found the comic strip much funnier than the lip-holding group.  The study says, “The embodiment of emotion, when induced in human participants by manipulations of facial expression and posture in the laboratory, causally affects how emotional information is processed” (Embodying Emotion, by Paula Niedenthal)  In simpler words:  it isn’t just that happiness makes you smile, it’s that smiling makes you happy!

So smile away and you’ll release endorphins that make you want to smile even more.  Plus, when you smile, others want to smile at you.  You’ll create a vicious cycle of happiness.

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