Are You Faking It?

Spring is finally here and that makes a lot of people happy.  The fresh breeze and warm sunshine makes many want to smile.

An article, “Smile Like you Mean It” suggests that positive thinking can create a more positive emotional state, which in turn will allow a person to smile more.  If you smile more, then you will generally be a happier person.  At least that is the consensus.

One study in positive psychology, performed by Harker and Keltner, posited that if a woman had a “Duchenne” smile in her yearbook photo (that is a true mouth and eye smile) then she was more likely to be happily married and less stressed 30 years later.

Dr. Matsumoto has also commented on the “Duchenne” smile, which utilizes the muscles called the orbicularis oculi that raises the cheek bones and forms crow’s feet around the eyes.  He states, ” Remember the Duchenne smile is the only smile that allows for the cheeks to be raised…and you see the eyes twinkling a little bit.”  This is how one can distinguish between a genuine smile and a fake smile.

Many contemporary scientists and ancient philosophers believe that putting on “a happy face” can actually alter a person’s mood.  The Happiness Project website, gives pointers on becoming friendlier and in turn a happier person.

Gretchen Ruben the author of The Happiness Project states that, “Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act.  That’s why one of my Twelve Commandments is to Act the way I want to feel .

How about you; how often do you smile?   Not a fake smile but a real “Duchenne” smile?

If you would like more tips on how to be happy then check these tools and techniques for a happier life.

In the video below Dr. Matsumoto comments  on the “Duchenne” Smile.

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