Smiling really makes you happier: research finds that expressing happiness affects the brain

Smiling really makes you happier: research finds that expressing happiness affects the brain to generate positive feelings

  • For decades, researchers have studied how cheerful acting can influence happiness
  • A team from the University of Tennessee has analyzed 50 years of data on the subject
  • They discovered that there is a clear link between acting happily and feeling happy
  • But they warn that the connection is not very strong

Smiling can really make people happier, according to a new study.

American psychologists looked at nearly 50 years of data testing or facial expressions that can make people feel the emotions associated with those expressions.

They found smiling, made people happier, they became angry and angry, and made them feel frowned.

However, the effects are not very strong, and the researchers warn that this should hardly be maintained as a way to compensate for debilitating mental illnesses such as depression.

Researchers have found a connection between smiles and the subsequent feelings of happiness

Researchers have found a connection between smiles and the subsequent feelings of happiness

Principal investigator Nicholas Coles, a PhD student at the University of Tennessee, said: & Conventional wisdom tells us that we can feel a little happier if we just smile.

& # 39; Or that we can put ourselves in a more serious mood when we are frowning.

& # 39; But psychologists have disagreed with this idea for over 100 years. & # 39;

The research team says the disagreements became clearer in 2016 when 17 teams of researchers were unable to replicate a well-known experiment, demonstrating that the physical act of smiling can make people happier.

Coles, who studies social psychology, said: “Some studies have found no evidence that facial expressions can affect emotional feelings.

& # 39; But we cannot focus on the results of a study. Psychologists have been testing this idea since the early 1970s, so we wanted to look at all the evidence. & # 39;

Using a statistical technique called meta-analysis, the team combined data from 138 studies that tested more than 11,000 participants from around the world.

The results of the meta-analysis suggest that facial expressions have a small influence on feelings.

Coles added: & # 39; We don't think people can make a way to happiness.

& # 39; But these findings are exciting because they give an idea of ​​how the mind and body interact to shape our conscious emotion experience.

& # 39; We still have a lot to learn about these facial feedback effects, but this meta-analysis brought us a little closer to understanding how emotions work. & # 39;

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