Darwin believed our facial expressions could directly affect our mood. He proposed that facial expressions are not just the visible sign of an emotion, but that they actually contribute to the feeling itself. New studies support the theory that facial expression can influence mood, but there is still debate over what physiological mechanisms cause this and how important it is in emotional life.
Our face reflects our internal emotions, but it also works in reverse. Our facial expressions can affect our emotions. We can change our emotions by varying our facial expression! Smiling, even if you are faking it, can improve your mood and reduce stress.
Psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who couldn’t frown due to cosmetic Botox injections were happier, on average, than people who could frown. Conversely, if you frown, due to annoying sunlight on your face for instance; you could be causing your own bad mood.
Who wouldn’t want their teen ager to be cheerier on the next family vacation? It could be as easy as slapping on a pair of sunglasses on her. She’ll be less likely to frown and her mood might improve a a result. Want your hubby to be in a better mood on your next road trip? Get him a pair of Solar Shield clipons or ‘fits over’ sunglasses to put over his eyeglasses. He won’t frown from the sun and he might be less grouchy.
“When you’re not frowning, the world seems less angry and less sad” says University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology PhD candidate David Havas.
Preventing a frown can help keep a bad mood at bay. So put on a pair of sunglasses the next time you go outside and give it a try for yourself. It is definitely a cheaper way to stop you from crinkling your brows than using Botox or Prozac. So say hello to sunglasses and good bye to anger. Get a pair for everyone in the family today!