The Science Behind a Smile: How To Harness The Power Behind A Smile To Become An Effective Entrepreneur
Think of a person that you were drawn to during the first time you met. Think of how that person carries him or herself, how that person was able to establish a mutual connection between you, despite you being total strangers prior to meeting each other.
Chances are that you’re going to see a person smiling, looking anyone they talk to right in the eye, and exuding a form of quiet confidence without necessarily calling attention to themselves.
These are also the hallmarks of every capable entrepreneur. If you think about it, there’s an unspoken magic that lies beneath a smile.
It seems to be embedded into our genetics that we’re drawn to people who have a genuinely nice smile. So, what exactly is the science behind this? Why should aspiring entrepreneurs make a habit of smiling? Read on, dear readers.
Magic? Definitely Not
But it’s surprisingly effective that it might as well be mistaken for a spell. There are many studies that prove that smiling does have a significant effect on a person’s mood.
The act of smiling triggers your body to release neuropeptides which help regulate your mood. A few of these feel-good neuropeptides are dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
Dopamine is the chemical responsible for mediating pleasure. This, then, acts as the motivating factor that influences reward-focused behavior.
In essence, dopamine helps reinforce certain behavior because that behavior triggers a sense of pleasure.
Serotonin is responsible for regulating mood and social behavior. It also regulates appetite as well as libido.
Serotonin levels have been found to increase or decrease the risk of depression, with higher levels reducing the likelihood of becoming clinically depressed.
Endorphins are responsible for that euphoric feeling after exercising. They also help dampen a person’s perception of pain, which allows you to literally smile away the pain to an extent.
When all these neuropeptides work together, they are actually able to help boost a person’s mood, even when they’re having a bad day or when they’re under a lot of stress.
That little boost in mood is all you might need to help you get through a tough day. Sometimes, happiness can even pave the way to your success.
When You Feel Good, You Also Look Good
No, that’s not an attempt to flatter you. It’s a statement of fact. People who feel secure about themselves tend to exude that same self-confidence in their stance, their movements, and their facial expressions.
And while looking good is an advantage of its own, the true value of looking good lies in how you are perceived by the people you interact with.
The Halo Effect
The halo effect is a phenomenon where an attractive person is likely to also possess other good traits and qualities.
This is known as a cognitive bias that has a significant effect on a person’s first impressions on you.
A good looking person is assumed to also be reliable, smart, and sincere. In a business context, this is also the premise behind power dressing and proper grooming.
Whether you’re trying to sell a product or a business proposal, you’re trying to earn a client’s trust.
And while you won’t be sealing deals just by looking good, a person’s first impression of you can greatly affect how the rest of the meeting is going to go, and how much of what you’re going to say is going to be heard.
So, What’s The Science Behind The Halo Effect?
According to a study published in the journal Neuropsychologia, when we perceive a smiling face, the medial orbitofrontal cortex is activated.
This part of the brain plays a big role in representing a stimulus-reward value. So, the brain literally treats being smiled at as a reward in itself. And who doesn’t like rewards?
It’s Also For This Reason That Smiling Is Infectious
Just notice how politicians and businessmen try to smile at everyone they interact with during meets.
By smiling, you don’t just make yourself feel good and look good, you also make others feel good too because the smile you show them is perceived by them as a reward. So, in a way, you’re rewarding the people around you for giving their attention to you.
This reward also reinforces the behavior of giving you the attention and it helps build rapport with the people you interact with.
While this might seem unimportant, this is extremely useful during meetings and during those moments when you need to say something very important. It’s an effective way of capturing and maintaining the attention of an audience.
Is It Possible To Harness This Power?
Not with ugly teeth.
It’s important to take good care of your teeth if you want to be able to harness the power of a smile. Like most advantages, you have to earn your smile. There’s real wisdom behind a parent’s gentle reminder to take care of your teeth.
Crooked and missing teeth don’t just pose a physical hindrance to the functionality of your jaw and speech, they also do harm to your self-esteem.
The less secure you are about yourself, the less likely you’re going to be able to smile genuinely. This is bad because you miss out on so many advantages you would otherwise have with a decent set of teeth.
But, despite this, don’t despair. Crooked teeth can be straightened with braces. Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants.
Take note, though, that it’s extremely important to only work with professionals who are competently knowledgeable about dental implants and other procedures.
Substandard work might worsen your condition and may even create new problems for you.
It’s important to strike a balance between friendliness and submissiveness. Remember that you win people over with the character you build and the deeds you perform.
While simply smiling at a person isn’t going to convince them to buy your product or fund your idea, it can help set up a good start from which you can present your ideas better.
Smile freely, but don’t be afraid to act in a serious manner when the situation calls for it. After all, business is business.