Smiles are like super-glue for relationships
People who are generous with smiles are considered more likeable and approachable than people who frown or wear a deadpan expression. A 30-year study by University of California, Berkeley, psychologists Dacher Keltner, PhD, and Lee Anne Harker, PhD, sheds some light why grinning is winning for long-term relationships. When they compared yearbook photos of 21-year-old graduates with their situation later in life, they found that those who smiled with genuinely positive emotion had healthier marriages at age 52.
Smiles make your heart happy
Just as we smile when we’re happy, it turns out that the mere act of smiling makes us happy. When we do, our system recognizes that there’s an absence of threat, and relaxes: It slows down our heart rate, tamps down production of the stress hormone cortisol, and may temporarily reduce blood pressure, too, boosting overall heart health. Even forcing your face into a smile can reduce stress and relax your heart rate, according to a study at the University of Kansas.