Smiling is catchy

In the 1960’s a psychologist Paul Ekman studied universal facial expressions and found that there were 6 clear displays of emotions; anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.  He found that the intensity of a person’s smile predicts life satisfaction and elicit a positive connection with others.  More current research is interested in the physiological effect of facial expressions, especially the significance of smiling. Sarah Pressman at the University of California found that when people smile it lowers heart rate and stress levels.

Therefore the emotions we feel reflect how we experience the world, it is disturbing that the universal trend of using Botox takes away a lot of micro expressions that are hard wired to help us trust others and empathies. Dacher Keltnes studies show that people who use Botox feel less pleasure and are less able to read other people’s emotions as well.

This is especially important in a long-term relationship where long-term conflict and misunderstandings can easily set in. My advise is to practice smiling, initially it may feel forced and yet within a short time acting in a positive manner will help your partner become friendlier because the mirror neurons in our brain will fire and assist reciprocation. The more positive emotions we express the easier it is for us and others to bond and provide a bridge of reciprocation.

It is a wonderful opportunity to practice smiling and being happy !