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Smiling inside and out. Tuesday May 14, 2013

We smile because we are happy, but do we feel happier when we smile? A spate of recent studies suggests that our emotions are reinforced - perhaps even driven - by their corresponding facial expressions.

No one yet fully knows why our facial expressions influence our emotions. Nevertheless, our faces do seem to communicate our states of mind not only to others but also to ourselves.

More than 150 years ago, Charles Darwin proposed that emotional responses influence our feelings, writing 'The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it.' The pioneering 19th century psychologist William James went further. He said that if someone does not physically express an emotion, he or she has not felt it at all. Although few scientists today would go this far, there is plenty of evidence that emotions involve more than just the brain. The face, in particular, appears to play a big role, acting as a feedback loop. The theory is that the facial changes involved in smiling have direct effects on certain brain activities associated with happiness.

So the moral is, smile even if you don't feel like it. The results may just surprise you.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 9:01am

People didn't realise there were any issues with sum of my family members ,but who is to say what happens behind closed doors and all that, People do not start asking questions and start digging into my personal life and to be fair i prefer it this way, its not anyones place and my own business, but if I do ever need to talk I know certain people are there to listen, they always have a good ear to lend and shoulder to cry on, I like to think I am a friendly person to them as well, I never judge or hate, unless that person is nasty to others, I believe in an eye for an eye... Treat others how you wish to be treat, you get what you give ect... Although most of the time I will even give people who can be nasty the benefit of the doubt, sometimes its a cover to make themselves look better, or feel better or sometimes It's simply to hide their own weaknesses as they don't like to feel vulnerable, or even sometimes It's because they 'expect' people to dislike or bully them in some way, 'do it to them before they do it to me'... Intimidate them before they intimidate me... And when I see this I don't dislike these people but pity them, that society has made them that way, and they feel they have to be wrong, to not be wronged themselves, most of your typical bullies are like that, I will just conversate with them and not give them chance to be cruel haha... It's about sharing good emotions... It's like it I see someone who looks a little down in the dumps, I will give them a smile and just a few friendly words, a couple of minutes of someones time, can make a big difference to someone's day, it shows them that there is at least 1 person that cares... Then they realise that really most other people do care really, they're just so consumed in their own lives, worries and troubles, that they simply don't notice anyone else's grief... That person will walk away with a smile on their face and then be happy and friendly with other people, which will then make those other people happy and so on, like I said emotions are contagious if you're constantly surrounded in grief, worry and depression its hard to stop the misery from consuming you also... A little like in a full household... You will get for example the teenager being harmonal and throwing tantrums or arguing with siblings pointlessly, which then makes the dad snap, so he gets angry and loses his temper, starts screaming and shouting, but then he stresses the mother out, then she starts snapping at him cause she's had enough, then they start arguing... Ect lol just from one person being harmonal and snappy... All of a sudden the entire family is stressed haha, but imagine if instead that teenager just smiled and said a few 'nice' words, then the same effect would happen with the happiness, chain reaction... Which is why if I'm sad, angry stressed or whatever, I never take it out on other people or let my feelings effect theirs, instead, I keep smiling, but It's a good thing, so keep smiling people,

Anonymous Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 9:02am

chilminders (like me) and hairdressers are supposed to be among the happiest people in their job. Both jobs involve smiling a lot and putting on a positive persona - it does work to a good degree, I would say...

Julia Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 9:06am

Oh what welcome news. I smile alot and it doesn't always feel genuine. Someone once told me that my smile was genuine only if my eyes expressed happiness too and mine didn't as a general rule. He has long gone from my life but his unhelpful, to say the least, comment has stayed with me, as negative comments tend to).
It would be good if he was reading today's blog! But I have, so that's all that matters to me. I must be accumulating lots of happy brain activities after years of forced smiles. Actually I do feel better when I smile and I think my smiles are becoming easier and dare I say it, my eyes are more involved too.
Anyway great news and again a novel and very encouraging way of looking at a subject. It certainly struck a big chord with me this one.Thank you.

Anonymous Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 9:41am

Re: thought for today! 'Go to bed and get up at the same time each day' so...if I go to bed at 11.30am... I should then get up at 11.30am! Nice thought but not that easy or practical to do!

Anonymous Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 9:53am

Laughter yoga has entered my life and changed it for the better, based on the principle of fake it until you make it , even 'artificial' laughter does the body and brain a whole heap of good.
On a cautious note, I often smiled at people when cronically depressed just to avoid the patronising and 'well meaning' comments.

Caroline Ashcroft Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 11:07am

what a great post; you are so right!

Lizzz Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 11:07am

I definately agree with the findings of that study to a certain extent...I work with people in my job and I believe the intent to be positive and friendly usually lends itself to an appreciation from the recipient who may not know just how much effort you are consciously putting into creating that demeanor :)

Caroline Ashcroft Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 11:09am

True, but how nice would that be!

Anonymous Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 12:01pm

Caroline, I really liked yesterdays blog, and I feel like the thought of trying (but not being obliged to follow!) every advise should be perhaps reminded more often in the other blogs too, since they became specific about how to behave. About this one, I think the thought that one smile can bring more genuin smiling is great and true in me experience (sometimes!). Yet there are times when no smiling can help, and crying first is in place. Also, no one should be told to smile by all means, for there is a dangerous extreme pictured here: Elisabeth

Anonymous Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 1:36pm

Thanks Caroline x

by T.G

Julia Tue, May 14th 2013 @ 5:45pm

Hello Elizabeth
I had time to watch the youtube clip. Thank you. I like these animated talks. It is very interesting and relevant to the blogs these last few days i.e looking at perceived wisdoms differently. I have always thought that the corporate culture of optimism excludes really intelligent people from the workplace.

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