How A Bright Smile Can Change Your Life

woman laughing sitting cross-legged outdoors

A smile a day can keep the calories away, plus other reasons to turn that frown upside down.

How many times a day do you smile? Chances are it might not be enough. Smiling can change your mood, making you feel happy even when you didn't think you could. Think about it—people are always busy, whether they're late to work, shopping around, or running errands. We often forget how easy it is to smile and the significant effect it can have on improving your perspective. If happiness is not enough of an incentive to start smiling, well, for the hell of it, then maybe getting a beach bod is. While smiling may not directly burn calories, it might lead to a good laugh, which could burn anywhere from 10 to 40 calories per day! Science, people! After the jump, find out five more reasons to smile just because. The Frisky: New Study Says More Than Half Of All Couples Are Unhappy

A smile can…

1. ... get you something for free. One day while grocery shopping, I stopped by the Starbucks that recently opened inside the supermarket. I was in the mood for something new, and when I saw that they had a peppermint latte I was sold! I asked the young woman behind the counter for a peppermint latte with skim milk and she proceeded to take out her book of recipes. She was clearly new to Starbucks and did not know how to make the drink, but instead of being impatient, I simply smiled at her and waited. When my drink was ready, she handed it to me with a smile in return and said, "Enjoy it—it's on me." Shocked, I looked and her and asked why. She responded, "You simply smiled and were very nice and you don't see that around that often anymore." I enjoyed my free peppermint latte and kept smiling for the rest of the day.

2. ... simmer down an argument. Whether in person or via text or email, an argument with a boyfriend, girlfriend, loved one, or a co-worker is never easy. Smiling in a time of distress or anger can simply show the other person you are not being defensive. A smiley face can lighten or change the mood of a text message or email, where words are often misconstrued. The Frisky: Do Fighting Styles Need To Be Balanced In Order For A Relationship To Survive?