Last Monday started off with a bang. I realized after arriving at work that I’d forgotten my lunch. It was freezing outside and badly wanting to race home, I just sat myself down, relaxed, and forced a smile. After all, some of the best burritos in Lansing are assembled at Jalapenos across the street, so it wasn’t all bad. Smiling at work (and everyday life) is something that you can use to your advantage, and often with very little effort.

One huge perk of smiling in the workplace is improving the moods of others around you. I have yet to meet a client who looks forward to solving complicated problems with a grumpy Consultant. When people are happy, productivity goes up. Not to mention, we all appear more approachable when smiling and for that reason alone, it should be high on our to-do lists.

Smiling is contagious. I notice every day that I will almost always get a smile in return of one given. Plus, the recipients are not always people that I know or work with. The advantage of this approach is being well prepared for the future. We never know who we may end up teaming up with down the line and how our first impressions and attitudes will be factored in.

The physical benefits of smiling are a bit hard to believe. Smiling can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and even make you look younger! So, if you can believe these beneficial factors, try not to imagine what can come with the opposite demeanor – health problems. It’s absolutely true that our mental-state plays a significant role in our physical one.

Another gain from an old-fashioned smile is that it promotes confidence. I’ve witnessed the benefits of smiling at meetings that feel tense and uncertain. People begin to feel at ease. They are drawn to the smiling individual because they radiate comfort in an uncomfortable setting.

One final reason to smile; it beats the heck out of frowning! Ultimately, we all work together as one team and having consistent, positive attitudes are a big part of the deal. Even faking in times of desperation is better than not. Give it a try if you haven’t, the results are worth the effort.