Smile, Even If You're Faking It
Did you know that just faking a smile can make you feel happier and less stressed?
Now, this is not to suggest that if you're in a terrible situation you should grin and bear it, but various studies, some involving botox users have shown that faking a smile can have beneficial reactions in the brain.
One of the first ground breaking study into this area was published in 1989 by Robert Zajonc where participants reported feeling happier when making facial expressions like a smile. Fast forward to 2009 and psychologists at the Uni of Cardiff found that people who couldn't frown because of botox were happier, on average, than those who could frown. Then in 2013 two researchers, Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman had people using chopsticks in their mouths to form smiles and neutral expressions with the same outcome.
So we smile when we are happy, but smiling can also improve our mood. We frown when we are sad or stressed and frowning can lower our mood.
I did my own little experiment the other day (yes, I know, complete lack of scientific method, but I'm not trying to prove anything :)). In my personal trainer post this week I think I mentioned that ever since I was unwell a couple of weeks ago, I have been having a little more trouble with my exercise routine. So, last time I used the exercise bike, when it was feeling like a hard slog, I made myself smile inanely for a while. It helped! I actually felt better - I mean, not suddenly Wonder Woman levels, but I felt happier and less 'OMG I can't do this'.
Try it yourself. If you are feeling a little blue, or a little stressed, give a huge smile, with the crinkly eyes and everything and see if it helps.
If smiling doesn't help, I recommend cat videos on Youtube!
And to finish off, a film recommendation that I have been meaning to mention for a while. If you like action movies where the lead is not superman and has weaknesses, but still takes names and kicks butt, this is the film for you. There is also a really interesting set up with the whole hit-persons angle. I really enjoyed this film when I saw it and the blu-ray is definitely on my wishlist for when it comes out in Sept. I am very pleased there is a sequel in the works.
John Wick (2014)
Rating: 15 | Length: 101 min | Action/Thriller
Staring Keanu Reeves
Legendary ex-hitman John Wick comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.
Have you tried the smiling technique? Does it work for you, even a little bit?
Have you seen John Wick? What did you think?
Also, it's Tuesday so it's Drabble Cascade day over at FantasyBoysXXX - two lovely drabbles about fantasy boys to read. Prompt word of the week is 'saline' and we welcome everyone to join in if you want to. Only rule, drabble or flash fic must be inspired by the prompt word - any genre, any rating, including fanfic welcome :).