But can you achieve all that with a smile? Science says yes. The physical act of smiling, even when we don’t necessarily feel like it (yet), has a profound effect on the brain. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Smiling can make you happier. The physical act of smiling tells your brain that you’re happy, and so it releases feel-good endorphins. Of course, the opposite is true as well, so practicing putting on a happy face instead of a frown can actually make you happier overall.
  2. Smiling can make others happier.  People tend to subconsciously mimic the expressions of those around them — especially their superiors. So if you’re smiling, chances are your employees will smile more, too.
  3. Smiling makes you look more attractive. There’s a reason we tell each other to smile in photos; you are most attractive to other people when you’re smiling and looking happy. People tend to want to be around people they find attractive, and tend to find attractive people more likeable.
  4. Smiling battles stress. Because of that same mind/body connection mentioned above, smiling convinces your brain and body that you’re happy, and your heart rate and breathing start to slow, which can help you combat feelings of stress.
  5. Smiling makes a good first impression. Psychological studies have shown that, when people looked at photos of strangers, they were more likely to rate the people smiling as more confident, conscientious and stable — all traits that will help you make a good impression, whether you’re interviewing for a job, networking, or trying to make a sale. Smiling also makes you seem more successful.