Wear a Smile to Brighten Your Mood
and Give You Energy

Smile therapy is based on the psychological theory that facial expressions can directly influence emotional centers in the brain. For instance, one study showed that we may find more humor in things when we are already grinning.

Just like good posture, smiling can be effective in gently shifting us from one state to another as long as we’re not too entrenched in a strong negative emotion. We're not talking about forcing yourself to put on a happy face when you’re in a bad mood, tired, angry, or deeply depressed. (Suppressing your real feelings is unnatural and teaches your to deny your true emotions. Address the real issue underlying your feelings whenever possible.)

Try a grin when you’re a bit tense or have some mild anxiety to see if it shifts your mood or helps you to feel lighter and more confident.

It also can give you a jolt of positive energy. I usually find that even smirking gives me a bit of "I can do it" hop in my step and I feel more empowered. Experiment with it to see how you feel.

Sometimes even a mild look of amusement on your face can lighten your mood and give negative thoughts a necessary (and happy) distraction. You might feel a little silly doing it at first, but pretend you're on the phone with someone or find something humorous about the situation.

It doesn't have to be an ear-to-ear tooth-baring beam, just any kind of normal happy expression.

Smiling also works during exercise! It helps keep tension out of your face and jaw and can even calm your mind by helping you to focus on the movement instead of the effort. There are even psychological studies evidence that it may actually make the exercise easier. How’s that for a great benefit? Try it to see what you think.

How we look impacts how we feel, so make a happy expression your best accessory when you have the desire to feel more confident and shift your mood to a better place. You’ll get others feeling brighter, too, so don’t be surprised when you seeing more happy faces coming your way.

Smile and the world smiles with you…

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