Pursuing Growth: Project 2: Chocolate Factory: Week 2

Pursuing Growth: Sculpting Project 2: Chocolate Factory: Week 2

I walk by my kitchen sink and see the reminder note: SMILE. I now automatically smile for a moment. I note that I feel a bit happier. This is completely consistent with lots of psychological studies.

Here are a few findings:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASubjects are given a pencil to hold in their teeth which engages some of the mouth smile muscles Remember the Zygomatic muscles? These subjects rate Far Side cartoons as funnier than subjects without the pencil smiles. Subjects who use the mouth and eye muscles think the cartoons are even funnier.

Subjects who pronounce words which have the sounds e and ah (these require the smile muscles) report better moods than subjects who pronounce sounds that use frowning muscles.

Why does this happen? We are designed so that if we express emotions on our face our mind listens and says, “Oh look, we are smiling; we must be happy.” So it creates happy emotions. The opposite also works. Frown and your mind says, “Oh look, now we are frowning we must be sad.” And sad emotions are created.

Have you ever tried to feel happy and not smile at all? Just try. I can not. Some individuals are afflicted with a birth defect called Mobius syndrome in which they lack the ability to move facial muscles. These individuals claim that they can not experience emotions, but only think them.

The ability to express emotions on our face has a critical role in our ability to feel emotions.

What about sad emotions? They work the same as happy. Don’t frown and you will not feel as sad.

One unusual research study worked with 10 clinically depressed patients who had not responded to any treatment. They were administered Botox on their frown lines (bridge of the nose and just above). Two months later 9 of the 10 were no longer depressed and the 10th was much improved. I do not suggest Botox but we can do our own treatments for free and leaving the possibility of frowning when appropriate by choosing not to frown. And choosing to smile.

Feeling depressed? Or want to raise your happiness level?

Administer your own treatment by standing in front of a mirror and smiling (with mouth and eyes) for several minutes each day. You can begin with 1 or 2 minutes and then work your way up adding a minute or more each day. This treatment has no unwanted side effects, is very inexpensive, and is proven to be effective. Try it after you brush your teeth today.

Loving our neighbor: We are built to mimic the expressions of those we see. We mimic and then we feel what they feel. When you smile I look at you and mimic the smile. That creates happiness in me. (2000 chocolate bars worth.) Smiling boosts our mood and the mood of anyone who notices our smile.

One of my goals this week it to see how many chocolate bars I can give out.

Pursuing Growth: Sculpting Project 2: Chocolate Factory: Week 2

Smile with your mouth and your eyes for a few minutes each day.



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