In a newly released study subjects were given stressful tasks while holding chopsticks in their mouths to form a smile, and another group was asked to maintain a smile while performing the stress task. None of the subjects were not told the true objective of the study and when compared with a control group performing the same stressful activities, both smiling groups had lower heart rates and faster cardiovascular stress recovery than the non-smiling controls.
As Ekman had predicted, when we hold a facial expression reflecting a particular emotion, even when the expression of happiness is faked, we experience some of that faked emotion. ‘Fake it till you make it’ takes more meaning in light of this and other research along these lines.
These findings suggest that there is a pathway connecting facial muscle activity to our ‘fight/flight’ response and that we can change our physiological and psychological states by deliberately controlling our facial expressions. So perhaps the quote by Mark Twain is true, “The world always looks brighter behind a smile.”
The next time you are feeling stressed, have a difficult task, or just wake up on the grumpy side of the bed, smile for a while and see how your mood can change for the better.” via You’ll Make It When You Fake It | Psychology Today.
I first heard about this reading Tony Robbin’s book ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ and yesterday I tried it and it actually worked for me!
I got sucked into being a timer for a swim meet with over 500 kids and 88 different events and multiple heats. First of all, I don’t even like competitive swimming — that’s my wife’s thing and my son was having his first meet. My wife had volunteered for a 4 hour shift and not only did a volunteer not come to relieve her but I became a backup timer and then a timer when other people left their shift. It was hot, wet and hard on the joints standing on a pool deck for 9 hours. I remembered what I had heard from Tony Robbins earlier in the week and put it into practice. Every time I started