Tuesday

The hidden power of smiling


One smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as two thousand bars of chocolate, according to CEO of HealthTap, Ron Gutman.  As one of many who derive instant happiness from cocoa products in many forms (Tim Tams, Lindt balls and Cadbury blocks are all effective therapies which spring to mind), understanding the power of a smile provides a calorie neutral alternative.

In his TED talk ‘The Hidden Power of Smiling’, Gutman says that not only does a smile portray you as likeable and courteous – you also come across as more competent.  He refers to Charles Darwin’s ‘facial feedback response’ theory which suggests that the act of smiling itself actually makes us feel better, stimulating our brain reward mechanism.

As a child, Gutman decided he wanted to be a superhero when he grew up, and went searching for the first requirement – a superpower.  Resorting to science and research when magic wouldn’t suffice, he claims the smile to be the unrecognised superpower within all of us.  For those still searching for magic beans, OD'ing on Tim Tams or resorting to retail therapy for a pick me up, consider whether you're meeting your adult daily smiling quota of twenty times per day.

Watch Ron Gutman's TED talk;


Need a (scientifically supported) reason to smile?
  •          Reduce stress
  •           Live longer and happier lives
  •           Have positive impressions on others

11 comments:

  1. Love the post and the TED talk. It reminded me of a quote from the Dalai Lama at one of his happiness conferences (taken from a friend's notes from the event):

    The Dalai Lama said 'when I engage in a compassionate act, it benefits me more than the person receiving the compassion'. The example he gave (in all seriousness) is that if he smiles at a pretty young woman in the street, he feels really happy..... however often her body language and facial expression says she is thinking 'who is that weird man smiling at me. creep'

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  2. you are the best at this danzi - positivity. although my smile is toothier and goofier than yours. :)

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  3. Daniel JonesSeptember 14, 2011

    Oh I love watching all the TED talks!

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