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What Makes You Smile?

What makes you smile? Perhaps it's learning a new skill, seeing your friends at school, spending time with family, eating your favourite foods or taking part in activities you love.

Whatever it may be, a new study suggests smiling is not only great for you, but is also good for those around you - because it's just as infectious as laughter.

In fact, a smile typically passes on to three more people, according to the research. For the study, 2,000 adults in the UK took part in a poll. 75% of them said a smile brightens their day, while 28% said they valued smiles so much that receiving one from another person was better than getting a present!

The majority of people who took part in the poll also said a smile from someone makes them feel more confident and many feel led to pass on the positivity.

Smiling is a very normal part of our daily lives, but why exactly do we do it?

It's what's known as a social signal, which is something we do to show the people around us how we feel. When we smile, we're usually expressing a positive emotion, although this isn't always the case. Humans can actually smile for lots of different reasons, so they're a bit more complex than many realise.

We might grin to make people feel more comfortable, and we can sometimes even smile when we're embarrassed, sad or afraid. So how can we tell when a person's smile is genuinely happy one? Well, it's all in the eyes! Often referred to as the Duchenne smile after French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne, this type of grin often involves the muscles around the eyes contracting, a person's cheeks being pushed up and some people also get crow's feet, which are the fine lines around the eyes.

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