Grinning is winning: Smiles make people feel happier, more confident

LONDON — A smile is as infectious as laughter and typically passes on to three people, according to research. A poll of 2,000 British adults looking into how far positivity can spread finds that three in four people agree that a simple smile from someone else brightens their day.

In fact, 28 percent value it so much, they feel being on the receiving end of a grin is worth more than a gift! Similarly, 26 percent value a smile more than getting praise at work. Six out of 10 respondents say being smiled at makes them feel more confident, while 52 percent note they feel happier.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) believe the impact of a smile from a stranger equates to the same feeling of receiving up to three compliments in one day.

The study was conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Belvita, which launched an uplifting portrait series celebrating and representing smiles that have sparked community spirit across the UK.

As a result of the humble smile, respondents feel empowered to pass the positivity onto their friends (57%), family (55%) and even strangers (23%).

Not surprisingly, a smile is needed more than ever as darker days draw closer, with 61 percent admitting they could use a boost of positivity. Three in four people say their mood is affected by the shorter and chillier days of the autumn and winter months. It also emerged 42 percent feel lonelier in the colder months, while 38 percent note that the drop in temperatures makes it harder to interact with others.

To that end, a third of respondents feel people smile less during the colder months, though the same number agree a grin goes much further when it is dreary outside.

“We believe that positive energy can start with the smallest gesture, such as a smile, or an act of kindness from a stranger – which all help to spread positivity from one person to another,” says Gabriella Sargeant a spokesperson for Belvita.

Report by 72Point writer Lucy Brimble.

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