Have you even been in a funk, such a terrible mood that you feel miserable? Like nothing could cheer you up and that you just either want to start the day over or cannot wait for the day to end?
I know how you feel, I think at some stage we have all felt like this and in all honesty, that’s ok.
Sometimes regardless of what is getting you down, all it takes to put some cheer back in your day is a simple smile. It doesn’t have to be from someone you know and can be from a total stranger but it really can make you feel so much better. It can even be just you smiling at yourself.
Someone smiles at you and instantly you smile back, often out of natural reaction however, once that smile is there, you find yourself a little lighter.
It has been proven that smiling does make you happier. Some people believe that you have to be happy in order to smile however, that is not necessarily true. Once you smile and the muscles used
to smile contact on our face, signals are sent to the brain. These signals are reinforcing the feeling of happiness and joy. This sets our brain on a feedback loop – we smile and we are telling our brain that we feel good and our brain feels good so is telling us to smile. What a wonderful loop.
There are many different ways in which we can smile however there are 2 main types. Real and fake.
Fake is known as the social smile or even the botox smile. The reason that it is known so is that only the corners of the mouth move. The muscle that controls the mouth is the zygomaticus major and so when only this muscle is in play it is not genuine. We are all guilty of this style of smiling in certain situations and many people do not even notice that it is fake.
Real, now these are wonderful. As well as the zygomaticus major muscles working, a true smile also activates the obicularis occuli which are the muscles around the eye socket. You know the kind that I am talking about, the beautiful ones that make the eyes smile too! These are just the best..
Genuine smiles are also known as Duchenne smiles as Guillaume Duchenne was the man who discovered and differentiated the 2 different types of smiles.
Now that you know that it is possible to boost your own mood, give it a try. Find something that you like and make yourself happy. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Me for example, it is the very simple things that can make me smile – stepping outside the front door on a beautiful day, when my cats com and say hello, seeing someone that I love and even popping on my favourite piece of hippy clothing.
Not many people know that smiling can make you happier and so, next time you are out and about, give a random smile to a stranger and you may just make their day.