Posted by: brandextenders | May 14, 2018

The ROI of a Smile

Whether we realize it or not, all of us are always looking for a return on our investment, be it the stock market, our career, the next sale we’re going to make or how our kids turn out.

Churchill

Winston Churchill saved the world through grit and determination, but what if he had smiled more?

What if you could invest in one thing that would give you a truly priceless return on your investment in almost every area of your life? The great news is, this investment will cost $0, zilch, nothing and every single one of us can make this investment, young and old, male and female, rich and not-so-rich.

By now you’ve probably guessed I’m talking about your smile. Yes, YOUR smile. It’s up to you each and every day whether you want to make the investment or not. And if you don’t, there’s no one to blame, but yourself.

For thousands of years people have understood the power of a smile as seen in these quotes:

  • Every smile makes you a day younger – Chinese proverb
  • Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been – Mark Twain
  • Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love – Mother Theresa
  • A smile is a curve that sets everything straight – Phyllis Diller
  • Keep smiling — it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to – Author unknown

Don’t think you’ll be able to get away with a fake smile, either. French physician Guillaume Duchenne first noticed the muscles around the eyes tend to crinkle up with a genuine smile while with fake smiles, you usually see someone’s upper and lower teeth due to the way the facial muscles contract.

An April 2015 study at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s department of psychology released a study on judging the weight of people and the test shows sad faces tend to be judged as heavier and who wants that?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dr. Isha Gupta a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explains a smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing the hormones dopamine and serotonin which increase our feelings of happiness and help reduce stress.

So what does all this mumbo-jumbo science stuff have to do with you? Here are a few proven ways adding a smile to your daily repertoire can improve your life:

  1. Smiling on the phone: I worked in radio for many years and one of the first things I learned is people can tell when you’re smiling on-air. The same holds true for talking on the phone and call centers often give their employees a small mirror to keep at their desk as a reminder to smile when they’re speaking with customers. Give great phone by smiling, people will notice.
  2. Meeting new people: A recent survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found 57% of people say a smile from a stranger makes them want to smile and can improve their day. First impressions happen in the first few seconds of meeting someone so be sure your smile is part of their memory
  3. Smiling at your significant other: Research has shown those who smile in college yearbook photos are more likely to have long and happy marriages. Over the span of a marriage, smiles tend to fade, but remembering that marriage is a journey, not a destination helps keep your relationship in perspective. Smiles and daily acts of kindness help to remind each other of your commitment and desire to stay connected.
  4. Self-Confidence: While a smile may be external, what it can do for us internally is amazing. From building confidence when you see how others react to your smile to feeling better inside because smiles tend to drive away stress, which is better for our overall health. Think of a smile as a piece of jewelry or other accessories you can’t live without and make sure you wear it every day.

Dr. Seuss

A smile is something you’ll find right under your nose, we all have them and we all can choose whether or not to engage them. And even if you’re down or depressed or just grumpy, a smile is more than likely to change your attitude and the attitudes of those around you. As my favorite philosopher, Dr. Seuss, once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

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