Smile! It Will Make You Happy – Literally
I just finished reading ‘Blink‘ by Malcom Gladwell. It was an excellent read and I recommend it to anyone who is in the market for a new book. Each chapter brought some form of enlightenment which is not typical of my personal library. I like vampires… what can I say?
One chapter that gave me an instant takeaway focused on Paul Elkman – a scientist who studied the face and how we involuntarily express emotion without knowing it. Through his work Elkman found about 3,000 facial combinations – each of which told a different story. His studies unveiled how to detect whether someone was lying through the slightest indications. Movements that lasted seconds but were dead giveaways of deceit. He dissected known figures (such as Bill Clinton and Kato Kaelin) who each said one thing but meant another. Reminded me a bit of the TV show ‘Lie to Me‘ which focuses on a company whose main purpose is to figure out if someone is lying. I will absolutely be reading up on this notion but that wasn’t my instant takeaway.
Here’s the golden ticket – when you smile it actually physically has an effect on the body. The same goes for when you make an angry face. So we can actually change our mood by moving facial muscles.
Are you having a particularly crappy day? Then smile a little. The muscle movement sends signals to your brain that you are in a pleasant mood and your brain will actually respond to that message. Isn’t that wonderful!? We can physically change the way we are feeling and all we have to do is smile!
Come on – let one rip!! You’ll feel better instantly. 🙂
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