When you’re feeling depressed, the last thing you might want to do is crack a smile. However, studies in Positive Psychology show that putting on a smile, even a fake one, can have positive effects on your brain and make you feel better in the process. Simply, if you smile more, your daily habits and mood might take a similar direction.
Healing Through a Smile
While it might sound unbelievable that making a point to smile more can have an effect on your brain, a recent study published in 2023 by Experimental Psychology revealed the positive payoffs. By forming your face into the shape of a smile, even while feeling low, you can in turn create a positive state for your brain.
The researchers found that the act of forcing a smile stimulated the release of neurotransmitters that support a positive mood. The act of smiling also had a positive effect on people around the participants, who saw more smiling faces. This is great news for those of us who feel perpetually depressed, knowing that thanks to Positive Psychology, we can use daily habits to develop a real feeling of happiness.
Limits to a Smile
While the study did show that those people who smile more developed more positive feelings, there are limits to this realm of Positive Psychology. Experts agree that if you are simply using a fake smile to cover up feelings of depression and anxiety, the daily habit of smiling more isn’t necessarily a positive one.
Knowing first and foremost how deeply your roots of depression lay, and if smiling more is making you feel better or worse, is key to using this form of Positive Psychology. And remember, it’s always good to reach out and talk to someone if your feelings feel unmanageable.
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