- Mental Health»
Want To Feel Better? Use This Tool - On Your Face - That Will Help You Feel Better Instantly. Hint: It's A Smile!
Take The Poll
How did you feel when you arrived here?
Just yesterday, I was in a bad mood and all I needed to do to feel better was watch a comedy that made me smile...and eventually laugh. After everything else I had done to try to make myself feel better, all it took was a smile.
I have talked about offering an unexpected smile to someone as part of doing a good deed, because it can brighten their day, but why does something as simple as a smile make someone else (and you) feel better? What is it about turning your lips upwards the can put someone in a better mood?
Moreover, why does a frown make you, and the people around you, feel worse?
Smiling Affects Our Mood
Smiling and laughter leads to physiological changes in the brain which boosts chemicals, like endorphins, that help to lift our mood.
I have seen numerous studies on smiling that point to the fact that smiling (and frowning) really do directly influence our moods. These studies have been done by mimicking a smile in participants and then gathering information about their moods during the process.
Studies have also shown that our mental state has a direct influence over our physical state, and vice versa. In other words, our emotions do not only affect our mood, but also how our bodies are reacting to our environment (think headache, tired, or sick when we are feeling down).
Knowing all this, it is no surprise that a smile, which represents happiness and positive feelings, can have a positive effect over our mental and physical state.
We don't need studies to show us that smiling can make us feel better. We all know that one good belly laugh can completely change the way we feel about a situation or person. A smile has the same effect in regards to making us feel better.
For example, try smiling right now…how do you feel? Chances are you feel different from when you were not smiling.
Now, try thinking about a moment that makes you smile instantly - like a pet doing something silly, a kid doing something silly, or an adult doing something silly – As you do, I am going to assume that you feel a twinge of ‘good feelings’ inside of you and a natural smile will start to come to your face.
Can't come up with a memory right now. That's okay. Watch the video below (it should make you smile). It should also make you feel better and happier as you watch the people in the video smiling, being silly, and having a good, positive time.
Smile - You'll Feel Better!
You Can Influence How People Feel About You With a Smile or a Frown
Whether you choose to smile or frown at a person will influence how they feel about you. I can walk into a place grumpy, be greeted with a smile, and leave the place feeling good about the person who smiled at me and much better as a whole.
It works the same with negative experiences. If I am greeted with a frown or scowl, I can instantly feel negative about the person.
I have a personal example of influencing someone negatively with a frown: I was working at a hospital where saying hi and smiling at people was a full-time job. Everywhere you went you had to greet someone that you hadn’t seen yet that day, so I developed a standard ‘greeting smile’ that I thought was pretty good. However, one day I gave a guy my best smile and he give me a dirty look and said, “Why are you always frowning?” I rushed to the mirror to see what my ‘smile’ actually looked like and it turns out it DID look more like a frown than a smile.
I had affected that guy so negatively that he took the time to tell me so, and I obviously didn’t make him feel better about his day when he saw me.
Thankfully, I am now in a career that I love and that causes me to smile in a genuine way. ;) And I know that my smile can make someone feel better for having seen me, because I see the influence it has every day.
Point being: You can influence how people feel about you with a smile or a frown.
Smiling and Frowning Affects How You Feel Internally
If you haven't read You Are The Placebo by Joe Dispensza, then I highly recommend it. It is an informative book that talks about how our mind influences our health, and it will help you to understand that there is a huge connection between your outlook and your health - both mental and physical.
Our mental state has a direct influence over our physical state, and vice versa. Choosing to smile, or at least attempting to smile, can help you relax in body and mind, and change the way you feel about a situation or a person.
Choosing to smile is similar to choosing a positive mindset rather than a negative one. Meaning, that if you smile and try to look at a situation with a positive tone, you will be less likely to get anxious, stressed out, and upset.
All you have to do is watch a miserable person to see the correlation between frowning and feeling negative. Chances are that their genuine smiles are few and far between, whereas their pretend smiles are abundant.
You will also notice that people who are loving and happy tend to smile more often than not. And their smiles are real.
You Can Make Others Feel Better About Themselves With a Smile
Ask anyone who has had a disapproving look from their mother how they feel. You will likely hear, “not very good.” A disapproving look or frown can cause you to feel as if you are not living up to someone’s expectations.
Alternatively, when someone gives you a smile while you are doing something, you instantly feel better about yourself and what you are doing.
Knowing this, you can see how you can make others feel better about themselves with a smile.
- Smiling at someone when they are doing something can cause them to feel good about what they are doing.
- Smiling at someone when they are talking to you can cause them to feel good about what they are saying.
In short, you can make someone feel good just by smiling at them.
Also, smiling at others makes you less threatening and seemingly on their side. Who doesn’t like someone who is calm, happy and positive? It is human nature to gravitate towards happy, loving people rather than angry and hateful people. Therefore, a smile can positively influence the way a person views you, and in turn make them feel more relaxed and comfortable, which in turn makes them feel better about themselves and their day.
It's the gift that keeps on giving!
An example would be a situation where there is an upset customer.
If a manager approaches an upset customer with a frown, then the customer obviously will be uncomfortable and intense about the situation. The customer will leave the situation angry and influence other people in a negative way throughout the day.
However, if the manager approaches the customer with a smile (which all managers should) then the customer will feel better about the manager and the situation, and therefore themselves. They will leave the situation feeling good and influence other people in a positive way throughout the day.
Take The Poll!
Do you find it hard to choose to do things that make you smile when you feel down?
Believe In The Power of The Smile
Sometimes it's good to have a cry, but when you can't pull yourself out of a funk, and you want to feel better, then believe in the power of the smile.
I believe in the power of a smile, and it is what I use to feel better when life has got me down.
Have a hard time smiling when you feel down? You have to go out there and find something to smile about. Use the internet to find funny videos, listen to a song that makes you feel good, or talk to a friend who always makes you laugh.
As a bonus, when you believe in the power of the smile, you do not just actively look for ways to make yourself feel better; you will also be more inclined to smile at others who are feeling down and need someone to bring THEM out of their funk because you know a smile will likely help. This will allow you to look at upset people in a different way. You won't think "what a jerk," but instead you will think, "that guy could sure use a genuine smile right now."
The power of the smile: don't underestimate it!