The Science of Smiling & Why It's So Powerful | Buffer Blog - Deepstash

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Smiling and the brain

Smiling and the brain

Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.

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Real vs. fake smiles

Whenever we smile, there are 2 potential muscles we activate.

  1. The zygomaticus major and it controls the corners of your mouth. Whenever this muscle only is activated, it’s not actually a genuine smile. Scientists call this also the “social” smile.
  2. The second muscle, known to show sincerity is the obicularis occuli and it encircles our eye socket.

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What smiling does

  • Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep, according to recent studies.
  • Smiling helps to generate more positive emotions within you. That’s why we often feel happier around children – they smile more.
  • Smiling leads to decrease in the stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your physical and mental health.
  • Smiling breeds trust, makes you happier and helps you to live longer.

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Smiling can be re-learnt

  • Imagine a situation of joy before an event: Visualize someone you deeply love, or recall an event that brought you deep satisfaction and joy.
  • Practice smiling in front of the mirror. Practice activating both your mouth corners and your eye sockets.
  • Become comfortable with smiling. If in your head, you can imagine yourself going through the day and smiling lots to everyone and everything, that’s often when a happier life starts.

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