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The Science Of Smiling And Why It Can Make You Happy

If you’re happy, you smile. But what if we could take the first part of this equation and flip it in reverse, causing the new equation to be; if you smile, you’re happy. Causing a simple action to create an emotion. Well, although it may sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, there’s actually scientific truth to this matter.

First we need to understand what goes on in your body to make you feel happy, then we can start to understand how we can “fake it to make it “ and hack our way to an immediate boost in our mood.  

The happiness hormone in our body is known as endorphins. When we feel happy endorphins are produced and neural signals are transmitted to our facial muscles causing us to smile. When you hear that certain song, see that loved one, or watch your dog try to chase his own tail, a big smile goes right across your face. This is all the work of your bodies endorphins. 

So with this information we can now work it backwards and trigger these endorphins to be released by simply activating the same muscles that we use to smile. 

The theory was brought forward by a German study which found significant boosts in patients moods after they received Botox injections. The theory was then confirmed by Charles Darwin’s facial feedback hypothesis, which suggested that emotions could be altered by your facial muscles’ activity. And Mr Darwin was absolutely right! 

You can also achieve that release of endorphins in different ways too. Just incase you don’t want to look like a crazy person with a huge smile on your face while you walk down the street. You can use these muscles the same way by holding a pencil in between your teeth. Struggling in an exam? Get an instant boost of confidence by biting down on your pencil. 

In order for the whole process to work, you need to activate these muscles for at least 60 seconds. But this trick can be used at any time, no matter where you are or how bad your current mood is.