Did you know that we’re part of a naturally smiling species, that we can use our smiling powers to positively impact almost any social situation and that smiling is really good for us? Well, now you do and what’s more… we’re actually born smiling. 3-D ultrasound technology now shows that developing babies appear to smile even in the womb. After they’re born, babies continue to smile (initially mostly in their sleep) and even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice.

A smile is also one of the most basic, biologically uniform expressions of all humans. Paul Ekman (one of the world’s leading expert on facial expressions) discovered that smiles are cross-cultural and have the same meaning in different societies. Smiling has so many benefits, we’d be fools not to do it more and take Key Steps to…

Create Laugh Lines

Your “Key Steps” Coaching for the week ahead:

1. You’ll live longer. A 2010 Wayne State University research project that examined the baseball cards photos of Major League players in 1952, found that the span of a player’s smile could actually predict the span of his life! Players who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, while players with beaming smiles lived an average of 79.9 years.

2. It makes you feel like £16,000. Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match. In a study conducted in the UK (using an electromagnetic brain scan machine and heart-rate monitor to create ‘mood-boosting values’ for various stimuli), British researchers found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 chocolate bars; they also found that smiling can be as stimulating as receiving up to £16,000 (about R 176, 000.00) in cash.

3. You’ll be seen as more competent. If the first two reasons aren’t enough, smiling also makes us look good in the eyes of others. A recent Penn State University study confirmed that when we smile we not only appear more likeable and courteous, but we’re actually perceived to be more competent. So go on, do it now and then keep smiling and smiling and smiling and…

“be the difference that makes the difference