Smiling Can Make You Happy

Even a forced, fake smile can make you feel happier, according to a multicenter study conducted by an international group of psychologists known as the Many Smiles Collaboration.

What to Know

  • Facial expressions appear to provide sensorimotor feedback that contributes to the sensation of an emotion, serving as a cue that individuals use to make sense of ongoing feelings.

  • Experience and bodily sensations are not independent components of an emotional response, and by smiling or frowning, other emotion-related bodily responses are influenced.

  • Emotional experience is influenced by feedback from the peripheral nervous system, which processes emotional stimuli.

  • Posing with a happy face was found to make people feel happier than they had felt when they kept a resting neutral face.

  • Researchers also found that making a disgusted face triggered more intense feelings of disgust.

This is a summary of the article, “A Multi-Lab Test of the Facial Feedback Hypothesis by the Many Smiles Collaboration,” published in the journal of Nature Human Behaviour on October 28, 2022. The full article can be found on .

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