Finding reasons to really smile everyday actually helps you feel happier. By: Helen Jan Hearn No one can deny that smiling more is a good thing. It’s an outward expression of inner happiness. Smiling helps us get along better in groups and even has additional psychological benefits. Happy memories, excited anticipation, and feelings of love and caring can elicit the biggest smiles – but how to get more of these in your life?

Smiling Makes Us Happier

Researchers have found just the act of smiling can trigger a happier mood. Robert Zajonc, a respected and renowned social psychologist, published a study in 1989 looking at phychological states before and after smiling. Subjects scored themselves happier afater smiling by an overwhelming amount. Even better, subjects who saw themselves smile in a mirror had an even bigger mood boost.

Smile Reminders

When caught in a persistent bad mood, I have happy thoughts that help to return me to a happy medium. The trick is remembering to remember them. One of those happy thoughts is about my daughters. I keep a photo of them in my wallet Another is a memory of our honeymoon: a shell on my keychain.

Ripple Effect

Smiling helps make other people feel better, too. Although research is still in a preliminary state, scientists are finding being around people who are smiling has a ripple effect, making everyone feel better.

Smile Confidence

When you feel confident in your smile, you’re likely to smile more often. How do you do that? Going out and finding the perfect lip color is one way. When you are confident your grin looks good.

Smile Maintenance

Consistent flossing, brushing and twice-a-year dental visits have a big impact on the quality of my smile. Spending the time to take care of my teeth and mouth brings the confidence to smile more often.