Isn’t after you for once smile feel like you shouldn’t have to force it. But next time, keep at least one thing in mind that researchers have found: Even when we turn up the corners of our mouths, we perceive the world around us more positively.
Smiling is good: Even if it is “forced”.
The positive effect also appears to occur when the smile is forced. For their study, the scientists at the University of South Australia first showed the test subjects pictures of different facial expressions. You could see very grumpy to very happy faces. In the second phase, the subjects watched videos of people with different running styles. These moved sluggishly, sadly or happily. During the two rounds, the test subjects were asked to assess how positively the people shown had an effect on them.
In one round, the subjects had a pen between their teeth. This forced a “smile”. In the other round, the test subjects looked serious. The pen was missing here.
The experiments show an unusual feature: people with a pen in their mouth perceived the images much more positively than people without a pen.
You are positive, the world is positive
According to the researchers, even if you force a smile, your muscles will tell you that you’re happy. And that makes it all the more likely that you perceive the world around you more positively.
The research team led by study leader Fernando Marmelejo-Ramos recognized that the emotional center of the brain is stimulated, the so-called amygdala. This releases neurotransmitters that bring about a positive emotional state. You basically trick your brain and also perceive the world around you in a more positive light. This can significantly improve mental health. So it’s safe to say that smiling is healthy.
There are other ways to be happy too. Experiments show that we are happier when we have deep conversations. There are other factors that contribute to happiness.
Source: “Your Face and Moves Seem Happier When I Smile” (Experimental Psychology, 2020)