Grin and you'll soon have something to smile about

Humans smile when they are happy, but if they force themselves to smile they automatically start feeling more joyful

Smiling has been the subject of extensive academic research, and the results prove grinners are winners. Here are six reasons why flashing your pearly whites will improve your career and life.

Smilers radiate mastery

Who are you more likely to think is on top of things – the person who is cheerful or someone looking stressed? Research shows that 72 per cent of people believe those who frequently smile are confident and successful.

Smilers get promoted.

Probably due to point one, studies have found that bosses are 12 per cent more likely to promote an employee who smiles a lot.

Smilers earn more

Those working in service industries are essentially paid to smile at people. But some are more successful than others at maintaining a friendly expression and reap the rewards – studies have shown smiling waitresses get more tips.

Smilers seem more trustworthy

A smile sends a powerful signal to others that you're trustworthy and cooperative. One study found a smile increased people's willingness to trust a stranger by about 10 per cent.

Smilers get away with more

Even if it's an obviously fake one, people who smile are shown more leniency when they make a mistake at work than those who don't. Likewise, if you flash an embarrassed smile after making a humiliating faux pas, those who've witnessed it are more likely to feel empathetic and less likely to judge you harshly.

Smiling aids lateral thinking

When we feel under stress our attention tends to narrow to tunnel vision.

[quote]Studies have shown that if you make yourself smile in such situations, you will start thinking more holistically.[/quote]

Of course the most compelling reason for smiling is simply that it makes us feel good, triggering physiological changes that lower our heart rate and calm our breathing. One of the most useful discoveries scientists have made is that the relationship between smiling and happiness is a two-way street. That is, humans smile when they are happy, but if they force themselves to smile they automatically start feeling more joyful, even if they previously weren't. So if you want to be happy and successful, keep smiling!