Why Are Smiles Contagious?

Why Are Smiles Contagious?

Smiles are the foundation of how human beings interact, whether for a job interview, on a date, or friends and family photos. It’s how we show ourselves to the world. Smiling is the most recognized human expression and can be perceived from more than 300 feet away.

According to various studies, smiling is considered contagious. Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides, neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, which decrease stress levels, relax the body, relieve pain, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and serve as an antidepressant/mood lifter.

There is growing evidence showing that mimicking someone else’s facial expressions is a natural human instinct that allows us to empathize with the feelings of others. For example, if a friend looks sad or angry or tired, you tend to mirror their facial expression in order to better recognize or understand their feelings without even knowing you did. Likewise, a smile can have the same effect.

Why is smiling important for students?

Smiling in education is especially important. The smiling face of a teacher says “love and caring,” and creates a positive vibration among the children who become fearless to express everything. They begin to ask questions. ‘Freedom automatically happens when smile exists in the classroom’. Asking questions then empowers their capacity to learn. During the course of being taught, why are smiles so essential?

Smiles are contagious. Smiles don’t just happen to you by chance, but rather they happen because someone has first made you smile. Learning is a two-way street where both parties learn from each other; hence the smiling face of your teacher will make your learning process more effective. Your teacher’s smiling face will make you feel loved and cared for, which is a very important aspect of a learning environment.

First of all, you have to believe that your child can succeed before actually seeing it happen. There is an old saying that “you catch more bees with honey than vinegar.” The same principle goes for children; if they are given compliments and praise, instead of harsh criticism, for doing somewhat good; their self-esteem will grow. As a result, the more positive reinforcement they receive, the more motivated they become to do better in school.

On the other hand, children who are constantly criticized with negative energy tend to shut out what is being said by the teacher and revert to doing whatever they want. They do not pay attention in class because they know that nothing good will come out of it. This creates a negative/destructive learning environment where the child is neither motivated nor interested in doing anything for school. There’s no point, since the only praise they receive comes from their peers.

3 reasons why smiles are contagious

  1. Mimicry
  2. Its natural
  3. It meets no boundaries

Other than it being contagious, what are the other positive facts about smiling? First, research shows that there is a positive link between smiling and good health. As humans, we are naturally attracted to people who smile and tend to use that, to draw people to us.

Smiling can work as a natural antidepressant, and the act of smiling activates neural messaging in our brains. In addition, the act of smiling tends to boost your health because it kick-starts your immune system to function more effectively and then makes you more relaxed by releasing neurotransmitters. Smiling at another person can make that person feel rewarded. It can also create happiness and calmness.

Mark Twain said, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”  If you’re able to make someone smile today, do it. One smile can make the whole day for that person you smiled at. Even if the smile is forced, it prompts the brain to produce endorphins and serotonin, causing positive emotions.

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