Smiles are important for better communication: Experts

In therapy, smiles are suggested as ice-breakers and as a bridge-building exercise, say doctors.

How often do you stop to smile at a stranger or friend? On World Smile Day, mental health experts tell Metrolife that it is important to pause and smile.

Dr Naveen Jayaram, consultant psychiatrist, Sakra World Hospital explains that the moment one smiles, energy is transfused to the other person.

“A smile releases endorphins and feel-good chemicals like serotonin. There is something called mirror neuron: even looking at people who are smiling has the same positive effect,” he says.

He says that one should make it a habit to smile more often as it helps in positive upliftment. Smiles are linked with emotions but they are medically important too,” he says.

“You should be aware of how often you smile and increase the frequency accordingly,” he says.

Smiles are important to reduce stress and ensure better communication, observes Dr Safiya M S, medical director, Mind and Brain Clinic.

“A smile is the first part of one’s non-verbal communication. It has different intonations like love, sarcasm or courtesy. It also helps break the ice between two people and helps further communication,” she says.

Some people naturally smile more but others need to make an extra effort, especially when they are in conflict with someone else.

“This happens mostly between parents and wards and amongst married couples,” she says.

In therapy, smiles are suggested as ice-breakers and as a bridge-building exercise, she adds.  “A smile is a lot more than just looking nice. Smiling at oneself, the ability to look at one’s own mistakes in the past and forgive oneself for them can be quite therapeutic,” Dr Safiya says.

Do this to smile more

Think of pleasant things like good memories.

Speak to kith and kin who cheer you up

Listen to your favourite songs 

Indulge in that chocolate piece that always makes you happy.

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