Thursday, 9 June 2011

Happiness - give us a smile

You may not feel happy, but smiling (even false) can actually increase your feelings of wellbeing. Yes it's true, acting happy can actually make you feel happier, more positive and more resilient in yourself. Not only that, but other people respond to happiness by smiling back, which in turn increases feeling of happiness.

So how does this work? Psychologists have long believed feedback from facial expressions to the brain can actually change our emotions. Using botox, which effectively freezes muscles, has given scientists Joshua Davis and Ann Senghas at Barnard College in New York the opportunity to test this theory.

The research involved giving either botox injections or Restylane injections to participants and then showing them video clips. Those who'd been given botox injections showed less strong emotions than those who were injected with the filler Restylane, which does not inhibit muscle movement. For more about this research see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7849905/Smiling-makes-you-happy-research-into-botox-shows.html

So it does seem the simple act of smiling really can make you feel happier!

Come back tomorrow for happiness thought 3.

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