Facial wrinkles are your body’s evidence of your most common emotions and thoughts. Holding an expression on your face is the “tell” about what’s going on inside your head. If you have a habitual scowl on your face, your emotions are also having a reaction inside your body.
How do we know this? Charles Darwin wrote about the “facial feedback hypothesis”. Since then, researchers have further investigated the relationship between thoughts/emotions and facial expression (as well as body language).
In fact, the study below shows you that even the intensity of your smile can make a difference in your longevity!
Scientists claim there’s a new reason to put on a happy face: People who smile more aren’t just more stable, happier in their marriages, and better at getting along with others—they also live longer. Researchers compared photos of 230 professional baseball players who started their careers before 1950 and found that those who smiled most intensely lived an average of seven years longer than those who weren’t smiling at all.
Big smilers lived an average 79.9 years, partial smilers 75 years, and non-smilers 72.9 years. The researchers, whose results hold even when corrected for other factors such as obesity, say smiles are linked to positive emotion, which is in turn linked to physical and emotional health, and big smiles are more likely than partial smiles to be sincere reflections of positive emotion, the LA Times reports.
The good news is you can make a conscious effort to smile more. Even holding a pencil in your mouth to create a partial smile has been shown to have a positive effect on your mood.
Botox injections are being studied, and the preliminary finds show that it too, can change a negative mood because of your inability to frown because of paralyzed frowning muscles! But there are less costly, and drastic measures you can take to increase your tendency towards smiling.
Keep a mirror nearby. Start to create a habit to look in the mirror every time you get up from your chair. Soon you will have linked getting up, and looking in the mirror. Then make sure to make a big smile at yourself. Even better is to link a positive emotion and statement of gratitude. “I choose to love and accept myself. I am …..” then chose what positive statements you want to include. This is also a great stress relief practice!
I love how technology can help us in self-improvement as well. Send your self reminder messages on your computer and/or your smart phone: Smile! Subscribe to a joke service. Laughing is truly the best medicine. Because you are exercising your internal organs, your muscles AND smiling all at the same time.
If you have deep wrinkles in your forehead that don’t go away even when you sleep, there’s one other product that can actually help change your expression. You might even detect a difference in your dreams- more positive? I’d love to hear from you if you try this.
The product is called Frownies. It’s like a tight bandaid that keeps your skin from getting wrinkled from frowning. You put it on before going to sleep. But if you can keep it on whenever you want – but at night, you won’t have an audience!
People who have tried Botox, and Frownies have both reported good effects. When the Botox shot wears off, you become more aware when you begin to frown and recreate that negative expression. That awareness can be used to establish a different expression.
The other really positive side effect of not frowning is your effect on others. People are a reflection of each other. I’ve always said the most contagious thing is a smile. And so many songs talk about “when your smiling, the whole world smiles with you”. Try smiling, and see how people smile back. It improves your mood, it improves THEIR mood. It makes your world a happier place. It’s the Law of Attraction combined with Brain Science. And it all starts with a smile.
Look at this picture – I bet you can’t NOT smile back!
If you enjoyed and learned from this post- and you’re going to smile more,
please share and pay it forward!