A blog post in the Wall Street Journal Online explains why it is so important to smile. Smiling is contagious. It also lowers stress hormones and boosts positive ones. Brain scans have found smiling stimulates the brain similar to eating 2,000 bars of chocolate. It is also an indicator of future happiness and longevity.
A study from the University of California, Berkeley that measured smiles in high school yearbook photos and looked at what the students were up to decades later. The bigger smilers were more likely to be in a long-lasting marriage and to have a better sense of personal well-being.
Another study found that the size of major league baseball players’ smiles in their trading-card photos predicted longevity. Players who didn’t smile at all lived an average of 72.9 years, those with some semblance of a smile lived 75 years and those with a “beaming smile” lived to be nearly 80.