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The subjects were told that the study was attempting to measure reaction time of facial muscles, but they were really studying emotion. The instructed facial expression influenced how the images were perceived. When subjects smiled they found the images more pleasant than when they frowned.


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On top of that, the effects of the brief smile even persisted 4 minutes later. In addition to the direct neural feedback, in the real world you also get the added advantage of social feedback. Smiles are infectious perhaps another post on mirror neurons in the future. That will likely generate a true smile. This is also a great tip for becoming more photogenic trust me, I mean look at that profile pic. The reason many people think their smiles look fake in pictures is that their smiles are fake. The corners of their eyes are not flexed. So next time you want to improve your mood a little, all you have to do is flex your zygomatic major muscles to raise the corners of your mouth.

You may also like these other posts: Boosting Your Serotonin Activity. Yoga: Changing the Brain's Stressful Habits. Or become a fan of Prefontal Nudity on Facebook. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine.

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Alex Korb Ph. Quick Tip For Happiness : Smile. Check back soon for the next quick tip on increasing tranquility. Comment Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults, life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. But by seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughter, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and even add years to your life.

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

70 Smile Quotes to Elevate Your Mood ()

Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter protects the heart.

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Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. Laughter burns calories. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment. Laughter may even help you to live longer. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer. Laughter makes you feel good. And this positive feeling remains with you even after the laughter subsides.

Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope.

Smile Quotes

Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh—or even simply a smile—can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun. Laughter stops distressing emotions. Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more. Laughter shifts perspective , allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light.

A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and diffuse conflict.

The Science of Smiling: A Guide to The World’s Most Powerful Gesture

Laughter draws you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health. And the more laughter you bring into your own life, the happier you and those around you will feel. Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts.

Laughter unites people during difficult times. Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.

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Humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:. Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles. Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget resentments, judgments, criticisms, and doubts. Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface. Laughter is an especially powerful tool for managing conflict and reducing tension when emotions are running high.

Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life. Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, as you might with exercising, and build from there. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.

Instead of looking down at your phone, look up and smile at people you pass in the street, the person serving you a morning coffee, or the co-workers you share an elevator with. Notice the effect on others. Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the positive aspects of your life will distance you from negative thoughts that block humor and laughter. When you hear laughter, move toward it.

Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. Spend time with fun, playful people. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.

Every comedian appreciates an audience. Bring humor into conversations. This week? In your life?