For many years I have been suggesting to people that they smile even when they don’t feel like it to help lift their spirits. This was discovered from my own experience of how my mood would change when I would smile even if I didn’t feel like it. This has been especially important with the new COVID upside down reality/world we are living in!
Recent groundbreaking research from the University of South Australia and published in “Experimental Psychology” confirms that the act of smiling can trick your mind into being more positive, simply by moving your facial muscles. Placing a pen or pencil in the mouth, forcing facial muscles to replicate the movement of a smile, actually causes neurochemical changes in the brain which trigger neurotransmitter positive mood changes.
Lead researcher and human and artificial cognition expert, UniSA’s Dr. Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos says the finding has important insights for mental health.
The “Smile Method”
SMILING 4 TIMES A DAY, ON A REGULAR BASIS, even if one does not feel like doing that.
First put a pencil in between your teeth, making sure to touching the corners of your lips. Gently bite down. Using this technique:
SMILE: for 2 minutes upon first awakening before getting out of bed. Whether you feel like it or not.
SMILING for 2 minutes at NOON, whether you feel like it or not.
SMILING for 2 minutes in the evening, whether you feel like it or not.
SMILING for 2 minutes while in bed, just before you go to sleep. Whether you feel like it or not.