15 May Smiling Helps You Live Longer
(And Enjoy the Time You Have)
By Motivational Speaker and Smile Afficianado Darryl Davis
Did you know? That smiling actually EXTENDS your life? It’s true. Let me share this with you… Ernest L. Abel and Michael L. Kruger at Wayne State University have found that the larger your smile, the longer you may live. Crazy-right? Nope. It’s on the money. Apparently “smile intensity” seems to have a statistically significant effect on a person’s longevity. In their research, 34 the professors conducted an amusing case study that used a sampling of 230 photographs of baseball players culled from the now-defunct Sporting News Baseball Register. The professional ballplayers were chosen as a representative sample because detailed life statistics (such as birth, death, education, marital status, and the like) were available for each, leading to a more conclusive study. The players’ headshots, taken in the lead-up to the 1952 season, were analyzed by the researchers and their assistants and given flat determinations of either “no smile,” “partial smile,” or “authentic large (Duchenne) smile.” After some web research, the analysts compiled the life data for the baseball players and controlled for body mass index, career length, marital status, college attendance, and other longevity factors. The results? Even a partial smile added years to a player’s lifespan. On average, the players with no smile lived for 72.9 years, the players with partial smiles lived an average of 74.9 years, and the players with the big full smile—wait for it—lived an average of 79.9 years. That’s a seven-year difference! And the main evidence to go on was whether photos typically showed players smiling, and to what degree.
Amazing! Based on this, I’ve come up with a legal way to kill someone you don’t like. (I’m kidding here, of course.) But check this out: when you have a confrontation with people you don’t like, and they’re yelling at you, do not yell back—just smile. Here’s what happens: they’re angry already, and you’re just there smiling, and because you’re smiling, you’re living longer. Now, at the same time, they are getting angrier because you are smiling at them, which makes their life shorter. This, of course, makes you smile even more, which means that you add even more years to your life! I dare you to try this. Seriously, try it and let me know how it goes. Go ahead… “Kill them with kindness” (or in this case, smiling).
Want to learn more fun facts and interesting ideas about smiling your way to health, wealth and a long and amazing life? Check out my book How to Design a Life Worth Smiling About or call me to find out how I can bring this game-changing topic to your next event!