How Smiling Can Make You Feel Better

March 27, 2012

By Kim Leatherdale

Smiling Improves MoodHave you ever noticed the expressions on the people around you?  Check out people in their unguarded moments and seen what expressions they wear.  How about what your face looks like at rest?

I have been paying attention to people’s faces recently, and it has been a great experience.  I noticed what people look like in their cars while waiting at stop lights, watched the faces of people walking on the boardwalk, and surreptitiously looked at the diners in restaurants.  Watching people is fascinating while noticing faces can teach you a ton about relating to others.

One thing I noticed is how often people look unhappy.  Few people in unguarded moments look thrilled, happy, or serene.  I wonder what that is about.

One thing I have decided from my observance of faces is that I don’t want to look unhappy all the time.  I have made it a goal of mine to put a light-hearted and happily open look on my face whenever I think of it.

Why?  Because your facial expression affects your mood.

You read that right, your expression can change your mood.  Take a moment and frown- draw those brows down, turn down your lip corners, squint your eyes a little.  What do you feel emotionally?  Now, open your eyes wider, lift your eyebrows, turn up your lips and smile!  How do you feel now?  (Other than silly for making faces.)

It’s not just you; studies have shown repeatedly that changing your facial expression can impact your mood.  It’s as simple as that, and I choose to be in a good mood.

Honestly, I want people to have a positive impression as they see me.  Interactions go smoother if you approach others with a pleasant attitude.

So, take some time and enjoy watching others.  See what you think about people’s resting faces and what you learn about your own.  Try on a smile now and then, especially when approaching your partner, children or grand-kids.  And leave a positive impression on yourself and others as you make faces.

Kim Leatherdale About the Author: Kim Leatherdale is a licensed professional counselor and relationship blogger. She offers on-line, phone, and in office counseling and relationship coaching. For more information visit her website: CreatingRewardingRelationships, Facebook page: CreatingRewardingRelationships, or Twitter account: HappyCoupleXprt

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