We have all had those days when we are just not feeling ourselves. Frustration, irritability, anger, and even sadness creep in without warning and we are stuck in a crappy mood. What if I told you that all you needed to do to lift your mood was to smile? This doesn’t mean you force it or walk around looking creepy, but really smiling from your heart and eyes can really make a difference. The action of smiling alone helps to lift our mood causing happiness and reduces stress levels. Many studies have shown that the action of smiling actually changes heart rate, releases endorphins, and sends signals to the brain that you’re feeling better than the stress wants you to feel. This is called ‘facial feedback hypothesis’. A quick tip for happiness is to just smile. You won’t look silly if it’s a real one, and you will start tricking your brain into feeling happy. Smiling will also give you social feedback. We react much more positively to others that are smiling or happy. Happiness is contagious.
Smiling also allows us to concentrate more on tasks, and to think more logically and holistically. Attention increases and we perform better on intellectual tasks. Once your mood changes, you begin to think more positively and clearly, which allows for better concentration.
So next time you want to improve your mood, just take the corners of your mouth and lift them up. If you really want to feel it, then do as Tyra Banks has taught us and Smize!