Say Cheese

While a smile is natural when you’re pleased, studies suggest it’s important regardless of mood. A grin not only bumps up optimism, it evokes health and happiness from a biochemical level. Turning up the corners of your mouth triggers surges of serotonin and endorphins — hormones that help lower stress, strengthen immune response, and regulate heart function.

If the internal health benefits don’t make you beam, consider this: a British study determined that men find women more attractive when they’re smiling; one study even links smiling to long-lasting marriage.

Try these ticklers:

Practice smile-inducing body language. A look, a stance, even vocal tone instructs your facial muscles. Always make eye contact and keep your voice gentle.

Think happy. Recall a funny memory, a person you love, or an amusing scene from a movie. A thought that conjures joy will twinkle through your eyes and trickle down to your mouth.

Gravitate toward other grinners. Smiles pour out like sunrays, so catch them from someone who’s gleaming. A smile is the one contagious thing worth getting… and spreading.

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