Fake smile may make you truly happy: Study

Yet another study, this time by researchers at Stanford University, showed that faking a smile can really improve someone's mood.

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A theory that explains this human behaviour states that changes in physiology deceive the brain into thinking about changes in mood and emotions. As an ascending heartbeat is regarded as fear or excitement, a smile could deceive the brain and conjure up real happiness.

The “conscious experience” of emotion may lead to real emotion, said the lead author of the study in a university statement.

If someone frowns, it can evoke feelings of anger and the same goes with a smile, said Dr. Nicholas Coles.

Coles and his team analyzed previous studies and found ample evidence to support the hypothesis that a fake smile leads to happiness.

A new experiment was conceived, called “The Many Smiles Collaboration”, in which experts studied 3,878 people from 19 different countries.

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Half of them had to put pens in their mouths and watch nice pictures of puppies, kittens, and flowers. Others have been instructed to pretend to smile by raising their lips and cheeks with no pen in their mouth.

People were invited to do it just to move the muscles in their faces like what happens when we smile.

The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, identified the importance of knowing how to fake a smile.

The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, identified the importance of knowing how to fake a smile.

Pen-and-mouth technology has proven to be ineffective. Coles said they didn’t know why the method wasn’t as reliable, but it could be due to the tension in the teeth during this activity. In a sincere smile, the teeth are not pressed or clenched.

In the last few years, science has taken a step backwards and a few steps forward. But now we are closer than ever to understanding a basic part of the human condition: emotion,’ said Coles.

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