A brighter day is a smile away. In Utah, it seems that everyone is smiling at someone, whether that be strangers or friends.
Researchers recently conducted a study that shows mimicry to occur between individuals, without them realizing. The study concluded that when we mimic someone else’s facial expression, we trigger that same emotional response ourselves.
“When you see a facial expression and you want to know what it means, you recreate the expression in your brain,” Adrienne Wood, the author of the paper, told The Huffington Post.
It is in human nature to have bad days, but studies show it can be quickly turned around when we smile.
Smiling releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin into your blood stream, which has the effect to relax your body and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Ultimately, it has the power to shift your whole attitude.
Zach Hogge, an SLCC student and a film production major, says, “I think the power of a smile, specifically one from a stranger, is very powerful and can change your entire attitude.”
Not everyone believes in a smile’s effects. Sawyer Callaway, an SLCC student and a mortuary science major, doesn’t necessarily agree with the research.
“It depends on the friend and if they’re close. If a stranger or acquaintance smiles at me, it doesn’t really phase me,” she says.
Smiling has the potential to affect anyone’s day. There are different ways to give and receive joy, and smiling is a quick way to send it to a stranger or a loved one.
Marissa Moulder, an undecided major, says she thinks smiles are totally contagious – almost as contagious as a yawn.
“I’ve definitely been smiled at by people on the street and had it give me a bit of a pick-me-up,” she says.