I’ve been feeling inspired this month after reading about a psychology study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, showing that the more widely a person smiles on their facebook profile photo, the better the chances are that their next several years will be satisfying to them. If it’s true that Facebook Profile Pics Predict Future Happiness, and that fate smiles on those who smile most, it seems only prudent to find ways to feel happier now, so the next several years will be be good ones!
Not only does this smile intensity / life satisfaction research confirm the results of an earlier study from 2001, which found a link between smile intensity of a group of female college students in 1958 and 1960 and their self-reported life satisfaction three decades later… it also lends a fresh perspective on a research study from last year of baseball players that found those who smiled intensely in early-career headshots lived seven years longer on average than those with small or nonexistent smiles.
Wow! Who would have guessed that increasing the intensity of one’s smile could have such far-reaching effects on one’s life satisfaction and longevity? This news encourages me to keep on smiling intensely, even though sometimes I’ll see a picture of myself smiling so much I think I look slightly crazed… apparently, such smiling zeal is good for me in many ways!
I sometimes have smiled so much that people have asked me, “Why are you so happy?” and “What are you smiling about?” The truth is that I’m often feeling a great deal of bliss from my awareness of just how fortunate I am to be here right now, on such a wonderful planet in such an amazing universe. I frequently feel a nearly overwhelming sense of reverence for the great mystery that is life, and for a sense of eternal love I feel around me every day.
You can watch this video to join me in a meditation to feel eternal love, which I find to be the key to inspire me to feel happiest and smile most intensely:
I hope reading about smile intensity research encourages you to smile more, which in turn will likely encourage others to smile more… which can have a wonderful domino effect and help make the world a friendlier, happier, healthier place for us all.
As I love to ask… just how good can it get?!
Cynthia Sue Larson
email Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org