Smiling is a good idea. Here’s why:
1. Smiling Makes you feel better
Attitudes affect our body language, but our body language also affects our attitudes.
2. Smiling is contagious
Seeing just one person smiling activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement, often leading to a grin. Leaders fill their teammates’ emotional fuel tank, in large part by having an attitude worth spreading.
3. Smiling lowers stress and anxiety
It’s not easy to keep smiling in stressful situations, but doing exactly that has many health benefits including the release of endorphins and promoting white blood cell production (which boosts the immune system). When recovering from a stressful situation, study participants who were smiling had lower heart rates than those with a neutral facial expression. Try smiling in the middle of a stressful inning and see if it doesn’t help you embrace and enjoy the challenge more.
4. You’ll be more attractive
You know that’s true. You’ll be easier to talk to and seem more trustworthy, too.
5. Smiling will make you more comfortable
A common goal for elite athletes is to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.” I like to modify that popular phrase to, “Learn to be comfortable in situations that would make most people uncomfortable.” The next time you are expanding your familiar zone, see if smiling during the tough parts makes them less tough.