Would it kill you to smile more?

You should be smiling more at the office. This simple act has been proven to provide some pretty tempting benefits when it comes to mood boosting and relationship building.

A number of studies have been conducted on emotions, including happiness and in particular the benefits of smiling. As it turns out, smiling is beneficial in a variety of ways, starting internally. From releasing endorphins to boosting your immune system and reducing the physical effects of stress, it’s clear actively trying to smile more is certainly not going to hurt you.

The benefits of a simple smile can be far reaching, permeating not only your personal life but also your career.

Vivian Giang in “How Smiling Changes Your Brain” in Fast Company stated that “a study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likeable, courteous, and even competent. This is reason enough to smile at every person you potentially want to do business with.”

Giang writes: “If you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.”

These are patterns that not only will you feel the benefit of but also your co-workers. Have you noticed yourself returning a smile another person initiates? That’s because smiling is contagious due to our natural mimicking tendencies. The sharing of emotion will create healthier, happier environments in your office and will likely provide you with a positive reputation.

The goal here is to try and make your smile as sincere as possible – a true smile would indicate that you are truly happy after all. But even faking a smile can have similar benefits.  And the emotional effects are even greater if you involve your eyes by fully engaging those smile muscles.

So not fully feeling your sunshiny, cheery self today? There may be a quick and rather painless fix to that. Happiness doesn’t have to disappear when you get to work. Get to know the people you work with and laugh together. Because really, would it kill you to smile more?

Jan 26, 2016