National Smiles Week: Smile – even if it is hard to do so!

Hellen Chen


The 2nd week of August is National Smile Week.

The benefits of smiling have long been talked about as covering all facets of a person’s life from personal success to health.

2010 Wayne State University research project titled “Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity” examined the baseball cards photos of Major League players in 1952.

The study found that the span of a player’s smile is directly related to the span of his life. Players who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, while players with wide smiles lived an average of 79.9 years.

A study revealed that children smile as many as 400 times a day whereas adults smile no more than 20 times a day.

Marriage guru and unorthodox matchmaker Hellen Chen, recently interviewed in Los Angeles, said, “There are many ways to find reasons to smile. But people who are in love generally smile a lot more than people who are not in any relationship. Keeping up the ‘in-love’ feeling with a life partner is the best way to keep smiling.”

Chen has been known as an unorthodox matchmaker for specially approaching people who do not wish to get married in the first place. She started off with friends and employees who were single and resisted marriage.

“They were smart and competent in their work. But they were extremely skeptical and would even despise marriage itself due to past experience or having heard negative news of unhappy marriages.” said Chen, who has spent up to 8 years to get a person to eventually say “I do.”

After marriage, Chen would coach the couples on how to stay in love forever. Even couples who have been married for over 20 years would attend Chen’s popular Love Seminar to rekindle the love sparks.

“Smiling and having a positive state of mind have a large part to do with keeping a marriage happy and lasting. I have learned to smile a lot in my own marriage and with every year, my husband of 25 years and I love each other more.” said Chen, whose book ‘the Matchmaker of the Century’ has become the number one marriage book at Barnes and Noble.

Chen’s theory is supported by a study done at DePauw University in Indiana. The researchers looked at people’s college yearbook photos, and rated their smile intensity from 1 to 10. None of the people who fell within the top 10 percent of smile strength had divorced, while within the bottom 10 percent of smilers, almost one in four had had a marriage that ended.

In the second experiment, the researchers asked people over age 65 to provide photos from their childhood. Their smile was rated once again and the researchers found that only 11 percent of the biggest smilers had been divorced, while 31 percent of the frowners had experienced a broken marriage.

Overall, the results indicate that people who frown in photos are five times more likely to get a divorce than people who smile.

“In schools, we have been taught there are always right and wrong answers. Exams trained us into a pattern of just follow the rules to pass exams. But in matters of the heart, there are no right or wrong answers. If you are generally more positive in your relationship, you will enjoy it and will have the relationship last longer than someone who are constantly negative.” said Chen.

“And your reward for smiling despite of many reasons not to do so? The positive influence that you would have exerted in people around you would give you even more reasons to smile.” Chen smiled herself.

Chen’s refreshing approach to tackling the marriage subject has been featured in over 300 media publications, TV and radio interviews, in 18 countries.

She will be holding a Love Seminar in Los Angeles on Oct 12th.