Have you ever been so stressed and overwhelmed that you felt that you didn’t know what to do or who to turn to? Then out of the blue, someone appears in your space who engages you with a wonderful smile and your stress is magically gone.
What happened in that instant of time? How can something as simple as a smile be responsible for changing your state and changing your outlook.
The receiving of a smile cannot be overlooked as a powerful and instant way to change your stress level.
With all the pressures that surround you every day, you can’t help but be engrossed with your everyday ‘business as usual’ activities . You may smile temporarily, laugh from time to time, but deep down you can be extremely stressed. Little do you know what smiling can really do for you to change your life for the better.
About fifteen years ago, I read an interesting article about the discovery that had been made in the US. It was found that employees who smiled while interacting with their customers and clients made more money for themselves. This in turn, made a major difference to the bottom line profit of their employers in many cases. It didn’t matter if these employees were front line in person people such as waiters and shop assistants, or over the phone people involved in telesales.
A company was established in Las Vegas called Smile School. It took students through a short course in how to smile. Companies would send groups of new employees to Smile School to be trained. They knew the outcome would make a major difference to their bottom line profit.
Smile your way to wealth.
Smile School shared their student outcome measurements. They found that similing resulted in a:
1.27% increase in waiter’s tips
2.17% increase in telesales person’s sales
3.10% increase in shop assistant’s sales
4.5% increase in Blackjack Dealer’s tips
How does this easy process work to decrease your stress, enhance your health and make you more money?
When you smile, your body releases endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine (‘Happy Hormones’). These hormones are the ‘feel good’ chemicals that can override the ill effects of too much of the stress-producing hormone, cortisol.
Even if it’s not a full-blown smile, this sudden mood change will relieve stress in the person delivering the smile and also the person receiving the smile. The effects of the ‘Happy Hormones’ released can last for 1 to 2 hours.
There are about 20 different types of smiles expressing different emotions. These range from social smiles to heart-felt smiles. These range from little expression to massive expression. The receiver of a smile feels compelled to return it, and usually does.
Smiling is medicine. Due to its stress-relieving properties, smiling can help strengthen your immune system and help you stay well.
Smile… it’s contagious. Yes, that’s not just a saying but also rather a fact. Based on a Swedish study, people had difficulty frowning when observing other people who smiled.
Your first facial expression ever: A smile. All newborn babies smile, it’s a reflex action; something you don’t learn. Scientists believe that we’re all born with the ability to smile, since blind newborns can smile without picking that up from their surroundings.
Smiling makes you look good. Who needs makeup when you have this secret ingredient to instant glam? A research study by Orbit Complete revealed that 69% of people find women who smile more attractive than women who wear a lot of makeup.
You use 53 muscles when you smile. So start working those muscles more often! Think of it as exercise.
Employers tend to promote people who smile more often than people who don’t; they believe that smiling shows confidence. Employers understand that customers and fellow employees like to be in company with those who smile.
Smiling can reduce your blood pressure, so when you’re having a bad day at work just smile it away. Researchers have monitored the blood pressure of different subjects after smiling continuously for a minute and noticed a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate in those who smiled compared to those who didn’t.
by John Hinwood
for the Stress to Strength team