The interesting thing about the stress management and time management tools that I share with people is that people quite often dismiss them because of their simplicity.
We all have a magnificent tool available to us yet we all undervalue it. This powerful tool can assist us to manage stress and to be more effective in our communication. Believe it or not, this powerful tool is our smile. Yes, our smile!
Our smile has so many uses for us and I’m going share with you some of the science that’s behind that.
Smile Away Stress.
A smile is really powerful as a stress management tool. Research has shown that even forcing yourself to smile can create the same hormonal effect as naturally smiling, reducing your stress and lowering your heart rate. Smiling produces valuable hormones such as endorphins and serotonin. Increasing the production of these happy hormones, helps counteract the overproduction of the stress hormone, cortisol.
A University of California, Berkeley, a 30-year study examining student Yearbooks found that students who smiled in their Yearbook photo lived approximately 10 years longer than those who didn’t.
A Wayne State University study of major baseball league players found that the extent to which they smiled in their photo predicted their life span. Beaming smile: 79.9 years – Slight smile: 75 years – No smile: 72.9 years
So, you can see that smiling has an immediate impact on our health. If we have a habit of smiling and creating opportunity to smile, then it’s going to have a long-term benefit of our health.
Smiling as a Communication Tool.
A smile is an incredibly useful communication tool. We know with dogs, and other animals that if you show your teeth, then you are a threat. Likewise, a smile immediately informs the subconscious of the person that with whom you’re talking. A smile tells them that you are not there to attack them, that you are not there to threaten them. In fact, you feel at ease and comfortable in their company. So, if you want to take control of a situation, the best thing you can do is smile because it puts the other person at ease.
Take Control of a Conversation
You’ve probably heard the term the smiling assassin. It comes from the idea that if you’re going to go in for the kill, they’re not going to see it coming if you’re smiling. A smile can help you to take control of a situation. Where it can be most powerful, for example, is in the boardroom or an interview. Now, women tend to have a bit of an advantage because they can wear lipstick which makes the lips more obvious on our face and thereby drawing attention to the smile.
Smiling Improves Business.
Another survey by a Las Vegas company, Smile School, found that their one-day training was highly beneficial to the participants and the companies who sent them to undertake the special training. It had a distinct positive effect on their bottom line. A company would hire say 20 new staff and send 10 to Smile School and for training and 10 to start on the job without the ‘smile school training’. The results after 30 days on the job…
- 27% Increase in waiters’ tips
- 17% Increase in tele-salespersons sales
- 10% Increase in shop assistants’ sales
- 5% Increase in ‘Blackjack Dealers’ tips
You Can Hear A Smile Too
What is really interesting about a smile, is that you can hear it even when you don’t see it. You can hear the smile in someone’s voice. When I was trained in both sales and radio, they would put a mirror in front of us so that we could check and make sure that we were smiling because a smile is heard in the tone of your voice. You can win people over with a smile, even if they can only hear it.
So in summary:
- A smile can create influence.
- A smile can disarm potentially volatile situations or those that are a threat.
- A smile can reduce stress.
I’d love to hear from you what it is that you do to create more smile in your day.