The Science Behind: Smiling
A smile is truly a powerful thing. It's a polite way to say hello. It's a way to express happiness. It's a way to look attractive in pictures. And... it's also just a movement of forty-three muscles.
How do express so much through a small movement? And why does it work?
We're told to keep smiling! Keep your head up and keep smiling! Why? Why does it matter if we're moving those 43 muscles? Will it really bring us happiness?
The answer.. seems to be a yes!
When your muscles curve into a smile, whether or not it's real, your mind is trained to think you're happy. And when you're happy, you tend to view the world in a more positive way. Dr. Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos from the University of South Australia says, "In our research, we found that when you forcefully practice smiling, it stimulates the amygdala – the emotional center of the brain – which releases neurotransmitters to encourage an emotionally positive state."
Now think of complex disorders like depression. Depression is a state in which the mind is constantly sad. Depression is an extremely complex disorder and one that is NOT easy to fight. Imagine, that something as simple as smiling can help. It's truly fascinating, then again when is science anything but that?
How is this information useful?
Well, for one, scientists can use this trick to boost mental health. YOU can use this trick to boost your mental health. Secondly, another experiment proved that you tend to also be happier when you're smiling, and somebody else is too. So, when you're walking down the street, give someone a little smile!
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight" - Phyllis Diller
Cover: Aakash Thaker
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