No, really, smile. Do it right now. Are you smiling? Doesn’t that feel better?

Our brains are so hooked into our faces that when we smile, we begin to feel happier instantly, even if nothing has changed but our face. The brain notices that the face is smiling and concludes that the organism must be happy if the face is smiling. Then, once the brain is feeling happy, the smile continues and the brain continues to interpret that as happiness and the smile continues, and so on. It’s a positive feedback loop that can improve your mood, even when you’re doing it on purpose and you know how it works!

This is particularly useful when making unpleasant phone calls. When you have to call some company that you know will put you on hold and transfer you six times, only to accidentally hang up on you and require that you go through that whole sequence again before someone will tell you they can’t do whatever it is you’re asking for even though you know they can because someone else just did it last week…. You know the kind of phone call I’m talking about. When you have to make one of those, write the word, “Smile,” on a little sheet of paper near the phone and look at it often during your conversation and smile.

You sound friendlier because you form your words differently through a smiling mouth than you do through a relaxed or upset mouth. The person on the other end will be able to recognize the difference in your voice and will interpret it as friendly. Why? Because you’re smiling and friendly people smile. Friendly people get better service than crabby people do.

So, have fun with that today – SMILE, and see what happens!

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