March 4, 2011
Does this make you smile?
How about this?
Do I have to pull out the big guns?
The bigger guns?
I hope you are smiling now because I'm trying to save your life and improve its quality. According to LeaAnne Harker and Dacher Keltner, of UC, Berkley, smiling is a winning strategy. They measured yearbook smiles, then tracked down the folks they measured. Larger smilers had longer-lasting marriages and higher contentment with their own well being.
Another study measured the facial expression on Major League baseball players' trading card photos. On average, big smiling players lived to age 80. In contrast, those who didn't smile died significantly sooner (age 72.9). Players that showed a trace of a smile had in between longevity (75 years).
Brain studies also confirm the positive effect of smiling. A smile stimulates the brain as much as 2,000 bars of chocolate and lowers stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
So when someone says "Smile for the camera!" Do It!