Fact Friday: Smiling is Contagious

It’s almost a cliche right? But it’s true. Smiling and positive interactions with others will spread positivity into their day.

(The same is true with negative feelings; although those tend to be a bit more memorable.)

So what’s the secret? Why is it that when you see someone smiling you feel happier and smile too?Fact friday.jpg

According to a few studies like this one out of the University of Wisconsin, when you’re in a social situation, you “try on” the other person’s expression. By borrowing the other’s expression people can mimic that emotion within themselves.

It only takes you a split second of “trying on” the other person’s expression. Your brain will remember how you felt the last time your face looked that way and you’ll know how the other person is feeling. 

If someone you see is sad and frowning, you frown too so that you can more readily empathize with that person.

Or, if someone smiles at you, you smile back and in doing so your brain thinks ‘oh, we’re happy now’ and then you become happier.

Pretty neat right? If you want to spread a little positivity that can go far commit to doing a few of these today:

  • A quick hello
  • A smile
  • A nod

You may find that folks will return the pleasantry.

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