Isn’t this cat so cute? It makes me smile. Which is sort of the point because it turns out that people who smile live longer! A study published in the Psychological Science journal used information from the Baseball Register to look at enlarged photos of baseball players posthumously and then rated them based on smile intensity (You know…fake smile vs. the real thing).
The researchers found that those with the “big” smiles in the pictures, lived approximately seven years longer than those who did not smile and four years longer than those with partial smiles. For those who are a bit skeptical and wondering if more went into this study that just some pictures of baseball players; it seems the study also accounted for other factors associated with longevity, such as body mass index, career length, career precocity and college attendance.
So, get to practicing your smiling people! Don’t feel any desire to smile? That could be a sign of a deficit in your mental health and it might be beneficial to move forward in making some changes or talking to someone about your problems. Remember, smiling not only helps you live longer, but past studies (some of which I have mentioned on this blog) have shown that people who smile are usually happier, have more stable personalities and marriages, and have better cognitive and interpersonal skills. Plus, when you smile you present as more friendly and trustworthy and also just smiling can sometimes help to improve your mood (it takes more work to frown).
Put that scowl away, enjoy a beautiful day and always smile for pictures! You never know when someone will do a study and determine the reason that you lived longer was because you smiled in that one picture that one day (I kid, I kid).