Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Keep smiling it works..........

Silvan Tomkins and Paul Ekman worked together studying personality and human expressions.

They became experts in microexpressions. These are the instantaneous or short lived expressions that give away our true feelings. Our subconscious is good at picking up these microexpressions and you can see them on slow motion video, and if you know what you are looking for, with practice you can become expert at picking them up.

No hope for me - I am an emotional wasteland but back to the point of the story.

Whilst trying to emulate the facial expressions for sadness, they both noted that their moods had significantly deteriorated. Deciding to examine the effect more closely they began to wonder if your mood is sad your facial expression follows but did it work the other way around. Was there some type of bio-feedback mechanism that worked the other way too.

They set up a study that ultimately showed it did, so if you had a sad hang dog expression your mood changed accordingly and similary for other expressions like smiling and laughing. Putting a smile on your face elevates your mood.

I have often heard the recommendation that before you make a telephone call smile because it comes across in the phone conversation.

So there is a scientific basis for it, put a smile on your face and your mood will follow.

On the basis of this discovery I now walk through the office with a cheesy grin on my face at all times, whilst it has done wonders for my own mood and general outlook on life it has also convinced my staff of my complete and total lunancy.

What you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts I guess.

Milton said "the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven".

Isn't it great to know that the simple act of smiling, even in the face of adversity or difficult situations will lift your mood and don't things seem easier to deal with when you are in an elevated happy mood rather than down in the dumps and stressed.

Try it and see - it may just work for you. Try the short video below, I challenge you not to laugh, - how good does it feel and the world seems just a bit better doesn' it!

Paul Ekman ultimately developed the Facial Action Coding System and in the Diogenes Project developed a system that could accurately predict lying by examining peoples facial expressions

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