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  • Our story begins in the mid 1800s, when French scientist Guillaume Duchenne studied our emotional expressions by stimulating various facial muscles with electrical currents.

  • He isolated which muscles are behind our expressions of terror, sadness and joy.

  • While many muscles in our face can simulate a smile, only two produce a genuine smile--one under our eyes and another on the side of our cheeks.

  • It looks like your eyes are smiling, too.

  • Psychologists call this a Duchenne smile.

  • Joy and happiness make us genuinely smile, but can smiling make us genuinely happy?

  • Inspired by Duchenne’s work, Charles Darwin suggested that our facial movements influence our emotional experiences.

  • There’s a feedback loop, so looking scared would make you more fearful and a genuine smile would make you happy.

  • It’s called theFacial Feedback Hypothesis”.

  • Skip forward a century, an American psychologist Paul Ekman monitored the smiles of a group of women while they watched a series of movies.

  • Those who smiled genuinely (a Duchenne smile) and moved those muscles near their eyes reported feeling significantly more amused and happier than those who didn’t smile.

  • So he came to the astonishing conclusion that we smile when we're happy.

  • In a more recent study, one group of participants received botox treatment for frown lines, which paralyzed the corrugator muscles in their brow.

  • The participants couldn’t express sad or distressed emotions in their face, and their reported positive mood was higher than other participants who received different cosmetic procedures.

  • Aside from genuine smiles and frown-muscle paralysis, there’s hope for our fake smiles too.

  • One study found that when participants were asked to fake a smile while completing a stressful activity,

  • they had lower heart rates during a stressful recovery period than those with the neutral expression.

  • So forcing yourself to smile can make you happier.

  • It goes to show that if you grin and bear it, it’s more likely your sadness and stress will help to hibernate your worries away.

  • And if you don't already, subscribe to BrainCraft for a new brainy video every Thursday.

Our story begins in the mid 1800s, when French scientist Guillaume Duchenne studied our emotional expressions by stimulating various facial muscles with electrical currents.

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B1 US smiling genuine facial genuinely frown happier

Does Smiling Make You Happy?

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    朱朱 posted on 2020/12/29
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