It almost seems to go without saying that smiling can make you happy, or at the very least – make you appear happy. Turns out, appearances aren’t as deceiving as we were once told.
Although most people can spot a fake smile from a mile away, these fake smiles can actually be the starting point of a real smile, as the general act of smiling prompts your inner happiness.
So regardless of the awkward appearance of a “fake smile”, it would seem more of us should be subscribing to this self-medicating form of acquiring a joyful mind, as research shows it can truly trick our mind into believing you’re happy.
Not a Quick Fix
Clearly this isn’t a quick fix of overtly bad feelings or true depression, but in the 70’s and 80’s extensive research was done on what makes one feel happy, and the findings were consistently similar as the emotional state of individuals were tested based simply on smiling. Most scored overwhelmingly high on the happy ratio once they began smiling, and those who watched themselves smile increased in their happy brain function even further.
The Introspective Nature of Happy
Introspective people were also noted as experiencing a greater sense of happiness based on these smile tests. Those who normally take notice of their moods and adjust accordingly, were decidedly happier when they smiled, likely due to the fact that they took ownership of their feelings and thus made them more real.
The Science Behind a Smile
Turns out that the muscles used to smile directly affects the brain, its activity is heightened when associated with smiling, and as a result – perceived happiness is increased also.
So perhaps next time you’re having a bad day, a stressful week, or even endured an entire lacklustre year …throw on a smile and keep it there as long as possible throughout the day and in weeks to come, and see if you notice you begin to get your happy on.
Tricks are not normally a nice thing to play on one another, but playing this type of trick on yourself might have you smiling more readily and feeling happy as a result …and that alone seems well worth a try!