Friday, February 03, 2023 | Rajab 11, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Have a good sense of humour: It is free

Well, some societies regard smiling individuals as less smart than those who don’t. Scholarly studies published in the 'Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour' found that in societies with high levels of corruption, trust in smiling people is reduced

What a pleasure it is to see happy faces, big smiles not only on the lips but also radiating from one's eyes. There is no price for this wonderful essence. Even the most expensive or miraculous medicine will not bring about genuine happiness. Smiles can work miracles.


Well, some societies regard smiling individuals as less smart than those who don’t. Scholarly studies published in the 'Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour' found that in societies with high levels of corruption, trust in smiling people is reduced. We can travel to the North and South hemispheres to see that the principles do not apply to all societies. But, in any case, we are talking about happiness in general, and one of the indicators is that when you smile, the world smiles with you, to quote Louis Armstrong.


Types of smiles and their possible meanings have been subject of studies with researchers saying that smiles provide different psychological signals, including positive emotions, social intentions, or a person’s status, this according to the article ‘Be Careful where you smile: Culture shapes Judgements of Intelligence and Honesty of Smiling Individuals’. In some countries, smiling on the streets can be seen as ridiculous; in other countries, tourists are advised not to smile at strangers because it is a sign of stupidity.


Neuroscientists, psychologists, economists and communicators want to know how people’s brains responds to happiness — perhaps, this is why governments around the world are attempting to figure out how to measure and increase the happiness of their citizens’. According to psychology professor Daniel Gilbert, who is widely known for his best seller Stumbling on Happiness, a new car, a new house, or even a new spouse will make you happy — but for how long? Difficult to predict. Object as the ultimate happiness has been addressed in one of my earlier articles.


Smiling has numerous health benefits. It has the potential to ease the negative effects of stress. Smiling lowers heart rate and blood pressure. It has the potential to improve immune function. Consider health policy and budget allocation: It is far less expensive to have happy citizens! The theory of the smile is used in therapeutic humor as a practice of care for hospitalised patients. As a result, a smile is an effective communication strategy for promoting care and comfort.


In the article ‘Show your teeth and tilt your head! Customer preferences towards a service with a smile’, the writer Chung-En Yu describes that in the tourism and hospitality industries, staff has to be aware of their emotional expressions; it is a critical factor that employees in these industries display positive emotions during working hours — whether genuine or not. That is true for some "non-smiling" societies who feel compelled to adapt and interact with "smiling" ones, especially when economic interests such as tourism, hospitality and investment are pursued.


The entertainment and advertising industries are also increasingly relying on emotional communication to attract, sell, and brand their products usually through humour, a fun storyline, or upbeat music. This is an effective method of attracting and retaining attention with the ultimate goal of persuading clients, customers and visitors, to buy, use, or support a product, service or idea. Smiles are used to create positive impressions.


The way we communicate, entertain, explain or express ourselves can be enlightening. In media, it is not enough to simply combine words or image together. The video clip of the Peruvian young bear Paddington having tea with the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth, is rich in information. People have long speculated what the monarch keeps in her handbag. We now know: A marmalade sandwich. Even the clinking of teaspoons against porcelain cups to announce the musical show opening was striking. The clip is amusing and adds delight to a happy occasion. Communication doesn’t have to be dull.


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