Smiling stimulates your brain’s reward system. An expert in behavioral psychology, Sarah Stevenson, tells us that the "feel good" neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins and serotonin) are all released when a smile flashes across our face.
It seems smiling gives us the same happiness that exercising, eating chocolate, and falling in love do, at least in terms of how our brains respond. Apparently, our brains feel good when we smile, and it produces those "feel good transmitters" that help us cope with daily stress. One of those transmitters, Serotonin, is known to be a main key in our feelings of happiness and well-being.
Even more impressive is the fact that we can paste a fake smile on our face and receive the same results. Facial coding expert, Paul Ekman, showed in his research that adopting a full smile, one that reaches clear to our eyes, produces a change in our brain activity that leaves us in a happier mood.
Isn't that amazing? We can get the same health benefit of smiling, without feeling any real emotion.
Who would have thought that faking a smile would actually make us feel better? I don't know about you, but I'm going to break out that full grin. As Yoko Ono once stated, “Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.”