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10 Proven Reasons Why Smiling Is Contagious

I enjoy writing about experiences from my own life so that my tips may help others.

Smiling is contagious! A mother smiles at her baby and he smiles right back.

Smiling is contagious! A mother smiles at her baby and he smiles right back.

Have you ever seen a person smile at you and then instantly smile back right back at them? That's because smiling is contagious! Scientists have proved it: as a result of smiling, neuropeptides and neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins) are released into the body, giving immediate physiological benefits that may be quickly sensed by those around us. That's why a smile has the power to lift your mood as well as the moods of others! Let's dive deeper into the science behind the power of the body's hormones to uncover ten proven reasons why smiling has so many health benefits for us all.


Dopamine is associated with motivation and receiving pleasurable rewards which explains why:

1. A smile feels like a compliment.

There's something about a smile that just feels good. Maybe it's the way it lights up someone's face, or the way it seems to convey genuine happiness. Whatever the reason, being on the receiving end of a smile feels like getting a compliment.

When someone smiles at you, they are conveying that they like what they see. They are communicating to you that you make them happy and that you are worth their time and attention. So next time you see someone looking cheerfully at you, take it as the compliment it is and enjoy the good feeling that comes with it.

2. We are more attractive when we smile.

When somebody smiles, they look and feel more attractive because the lifting of the facial muscles lighten up their face. When we see this, it triggers the release of dopamine in our brains, which makes us feel happy. And when we feel happy, we tend to smile even more, which makes us look more attractive.

Smiling is also a way of showing our positive emotions, which makes us more approachable and likable. People are drawn to those who make them feel good, and a simple expression of happiness can go a long way toward making somebody else feel good.

3. Smiling makes us appear friendly, agreeable, and trustworthy.

Smiling is often seen as a sign of friendliness, agreeableness, and trustworthiness. When we smile, we tend to make eye contact with the other person, which can make them feel like we are interested in them and want to connect with. This can make us feel happy and more positive as well. By conveying a sense of warmth and openness with a contagious smile, we make other people feel more comfortable around us.

Smiling makes us appear friendly, agreeable, and trustworthy

Smiling makes us appear friendly, agreeable, and trustworthy


As a mood enhancer, serotonin plays a crucial role in happiness, which explains why:

4. Smiling naturally lifts our mood.

The act of smiling has been shown to have a positive effect on a person's mood. The main reason for this is that smiling triggers the release of serotonin, which are hormones that have a mood-boosting effect. Smiling also activates the left hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for positive emotions. And because smiling is contagious, when we see someone else smiling, it can automatically put us in a better mood too! All of these factors combine to make smiling a powerful tool for improving our mood and making us feel happier.

5. Smiling serves as an antidepressant.

Smiling is a natural antidepressant for several reasons. Serotonin has mood-boosting properties that can help to naturally improve your overall sense of well-being without traditional medicine. Smiling also promotes a feeling of relaxation, which can help alleviate anxiety and depression. And because smiling is so communicable, this positive feedback loop creates a more positive and uplifting mood. So next time you're feeling down, try flashing a grin. It just might make you feel better.

6. A smile shows we're pleased to see someone.

The gesture of a smile is a universal sign that indicates pleasure, happiness, or approval. A smile can be used to express a wide range of positive emotions, from joy and excitement to gratitude and affection. In many cases, a smile is simply a way to show that we are happy to see the person we are smiling at.

Smiling is a relatively effortless way to communicate our positive feelings, and it is often infectious (in a good way): seeing someone smile tends to make us smile as well. Smiling is also a good way to defuse tense or negative situations, and it can be used as a sign of goodwill or friendship. So next time you see someone you're pleased to see, don't forget to make eye contact and give them a genuine smile.

7. Smiling is only associated with positive emotions.

Smiling is often associated with positive emotions like happiness and joy, but have you noticed that it's never associated with negative emotions? Have you ever seen someone smiling and it made you want to burst into tears? Probably not. And that could be explained by the fact that smiling is imitated and copied.

When we see someone grinning at us, it triggers the muscles in our faces to mirror that expression. This happens automatically and unconsciously, and it can make us feel happier. Another reason may be that smiling is seen as a sign of submission. In other words, when we smile, we are signaling to others that we are not a threat. This can make people more likely to trust and cooperate with us.

Smiling is only associated with positive emotions.

Smiling is only associated with positive emotions.


Endorphins help relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve your sense of well-being, which explains why:

8. Smiling boosts your immune system.

There are many possible reasons why smiling boosts your immune system. It helps to reduce stress levels, (and chronic stress can weaken the immune system). The act of releasing endorphins has mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. Also, smiling is a form of social interaction, and social support has been shown to be good for the immune system.

Interestingly, smiling helps to increase the production of antibodies, which fight off infection. This may be another reason why endorphins give your immunity a boost.

9. Smiling relaxes the body.

There is some scientific evidence to suggest that smiling can help to relax the body. One study found that smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that help to reduce stress. Smiling has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, both of which are indicative of a relaxed state. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, it seems plausible that smiling could help to create a sense of relaxation in the body.

10. Smiling lowers your heart rate.

When you smile, the muscles in your face send signals to your brain that trigger the release of endorphins to a calming effect on the body, which can help to lower your heart rate. Together with the release of serotonin, the combination of hormones contributes to lowering your heart rate and making you feel more relaxed. There are other benefits of having a lower heart rate, including reduced stress levels, improved blood circulation, and increased efficiency of the heart muscle.

Smiling can help lower your heart rate and make you feel more relaxed.

Smiling can help lower your heart rate and make you feel more relaxed.

Is Smiling Contagious?

Scientists have proven that smiling activates the release of three happy hormones: dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These hormones are associated with positive emotions that make us feel happier, more attractive, and more trustworthy. A smile is a universal sign that indicates pleasure, happiness, or approval. It can express a range of positive emotions, from joy and excitement to gratitude and affection. Perhaps the main reason why smiling is contagious is that it conveys such warmth and openness, that other people feel more comfortable and happy around us.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Louise