Durban - Today is World Smile Day, celebrated on the first Friday of October every year and here’s a good reason to smile – smiling is good for your sex life.

Forget romantic dinners, oysters and gifts. Nothing turns the opposite sex on like a smile, says psychologist and relationship coach Sam Owen, of the dating site Elite Singles. Here’s why:

 

1 You’ll become a better flirt.

A little smile goes a long way. Research shows that smiling reduces stress and makes us feel happy by initiating physiological changes such as a lowered heart rate and the release of endorphins and serotonin. We can even “fake” these changes; simply smiling tells our brains that we’re happy, even if we’ve been feeling stressed out and nervous.

By using a smile to feel happier, you will think more clearly, be better able to engage in good conversation and skilfully charm your date. It might not be a long-term solution, but a quick smile here and there will give you the feel-good factor, confidence and low stress levels needed to flirt.

 

2 You’ll look hotter than when wearing make-up.

Stressing out about first date make-up? Perhaps it’s time to take the au naturel route. One recent survey found that a smiling, natural face is more attractive for 69 percent of people than someone wearing make-up and not smiling.

If you’re not confident enough to go that far yet, then keep make-up subdued and wear a smile. Not only is the natural look appealing to some men, it inadvertently communicates self-confidence (an attractive quality) and that you’re honest and upfront (and people get what they see).

 

3 You’ll sound sweeter.

A smile can suggest that we are welcoming, friendly, open, optimistic and warm-hearted, all of which are attractive traits and uplifting because they affect how the other person feels – welcomed, safe and happier. Even on the phone we can detect these qualities if the other person is smiling. If we are with someone who is smiling, our brain is inclined to mimic the smile, making us happier and more relaxed. If you make people feel relaxed and happy, their brain will associate you with those good feelings.

 

4 You’ll appear more trustworthy.

Trust is among the most important qualities in a partner. In studies, smiling people appear extroverted and generous and people trust them 10 percent more.

Luckily, it’s not easy to fake trustworthiness: the most authentic smiles build up gradually, taking half a second to cross the face, and engage a specific eye muscle. Such slow smiles are seen as more trustworthy, genuine and even flirtatious.

 

5 You’ll pick up more.

This one’s girls-only. A female’s smile can have the biggest pick-up effect on men, even above flirty eye contact.

In one study of bar flirting, women using just eye contact were approached 20 percent of the time, but this increased to 60 percent when combined with a smile. So if you’re out looking for the one, drop that sultry pose and smile.

Lifestyle Reporter, Daily News