Smile I was told the secret to happiness, success, longevity, friendship, influence, power and health last night.

Wanna hear it? It’s not terribly complicated — just a single word, actually. And since I’m terrible at keeping secrets, here it is.

Smile.

One word. Five letters. All the power in the world.

In this TED talk, HealthTap founder and CEO Ron Gutman cites numerous studies that have produced some eye-opening results.

  • Your smile offers clues about how fulfilling and long-lasting your marriage will be, how you will perform on standardized tests, and how inspiring you will be to others.
  • Players who were shown smiling broadly on old baseball cards lived an average of 79.9 years. Those with no smiles on their faces lived an average of 72.9 years.
  • Smiling is contagious. It’s difficult to not smile when you see someone else with a genuine smile on his or her face.
  • One smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as 2,000 bars of chocolate. That same smile can be as stimulating as receiving up to $25,000 in cash.
  • Smiling reduces the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisone, adrenaline and dopamine, and increases the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins. It also lowers overall blood pressure.
  • When you smile, you appear more likeable, courteous and competent to others.

“So,” Gutman concludes, “whenever you want to tap into a super power that will allow you and everyone around you to live a longer, healthier, happier life — smile.”

Watch Gutman’s talk in its entirety below.

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