A good kind of contagion – a smile

When we hear the word contagion our minds go straight to thoughts of danger for us and our families or a plot for a Hollywood movie. However, not every contagion is dangerous. Smiles are a great example of a contagion that is good for us. But what is the science behind why smiles are contagious and good for our health?

According to Pennsylvania University, when a person is smiling, they are viewed as “attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere.”When a person sees another person smiling, his or her orbitofrontal cortex is activating, which processes sensory rewards. So when a person catches another person smiling, he or she feels rewarded, which is a good feeling which is what makes it contagious.

Some great health benefits come from something as simple as smiling. The Henry Ford Health System reports that smiling not only offers a mood boost but helps our bodies release cortisol and endorphins that provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Increased endurance
  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced stress
  • Strengthened immune system

Furthermore, studies show that people who smile appear more likable, courteous, and competent. Smilers tend to be more productive at work and make more money.

I think we can all agree that the thought of making more money from smiling is enough to make us all smile!

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