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Smile for mental health

The average UK adult smiles 11 times every day – or more than 232,000 times over their lifetime, it has emerged. Researchers who carried out a detailed study found summer sunshine is most likely to trigger a grin, followed by a compliment from a stranger and flicking back through old photographs.

It also emerged around half of us admit we don’t smile 'as much as we could do' and three quarters wish EVERYONE smiled more often.

Psychologist Dr. Jessamy Hibberd said: “It’s interesting to see that the majority of people think that they should smile at least seven times a day in order to feel happy and content.

“While smiling is something that we often do subconsciously, we should be considering it as an important part of our day.

“We’ve all heard about the ‘five a day’ rule for fruit and veg, but the ‘importance of seven a day’ when it comes to smiles is just as real - the benefits on positive mental health are immense.

“Smiling has a huge amount of real value – recognised by more than 90 per cent of us - and, when the number of times you smile every day is added up, it can have great benefits to overall happiness.”

Other things guaranteed to spark a grin include receiving a discount at the til (39 per cent), hearing a baby laugh or seeing them smile (37 per cent), seeing an old couple holding hands (32 per cent) and finding a parking space in a car park (19 per cent).

Reassuringly, our partner or spouse is most likely to make us smile, with children a close second.

The family dog made third place followed by our friends and co-workers.

And the key to a good smile, according to those polled, is a grin that shows genuine warmth and friendliness.

The research also found we can recognise a genuine smile, with 89 per cent being able to spot one when they see one.

From a study of 2,000 adults by

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