Thursday, April 2014
By: Selma Z.
I remember when I was in grade 7, there was a beautiful girl in grade 9 that every time I walked by she would be smiling. Maybe she was beautiful because she was just simply beautiful, or maybe it’s the smile that made her so. But the thing is, I don’t even remember what she looked like. I just remember that smile. That’s the thing, they say, “a smile goes a long way”, and it really does. When you walk down the street, and you’re having a bad day, you see someone smile, automatically you smile back and your day just gets a little better.
Scientific research has proven that when you are feeling down, and you look into the mirror and smile, you can actually trick your brain into believing that you’re happy. Charles Darwin created a facial feedback hypothesis, which has been confirmed by research to be true. His theory suggests that facial muscles can change emotions. One of the many researches that was conducted to prove this hypothesis was having a group of people hold a pencil in their mouths, which forces the zygomaticus major muscle and orbicularis oculi muscle into forcing one to smile.
When the brain feels happy, it produces endorphins and neuronal signals are transmitted to the facial muscles to trigger a smile. As well as when our smiling muscles contract, a signal is sent back to the brain, stimulating a reward system, therefore increasing endorphins. When you are happy, you’ll smile; when you smile your brain is happy. It’s a beautiful thing how the brain works. So next time you’re down, just remember to smile at others around you, but most importantly, smile at yourself!