Fake It Till You Make It (or Smile – It'll Do Ya Some Good)

June 29, 2017 | Cathy

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Be positive with happy faceCreative Commons Zero - CC0  courtesy of Max Pixel

Recent research indicates that smiling, even when you don't feel happy, may do you some good. In a recent Nature of Things episode, Harvard University social psychologist Amy Cuddy discussed posture therapy for people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In a nutshell, walk like you are happy, smile even though you aren't and you will feel happier.

Watch the episode Body Language Decoded.

Watch Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

A few years ago, North York Central Library had a couple of Laughter Yoga sessions. I  felt ridiculous but forced myself to laugh and take part in various laughing exercises with the audience. I was surprised at how happy I felt at the end of the session and strongly recommend attending a laughter class at the library. Researchers have found that laughter therapy helps to boost the quality of life of nursing home residents. Another study looked at the effects of laughing, smiling and howling on mood. While smiling substantially improved mood, laughing resulted in an even greater positive boost. Howling had no effect.

One last reason to smile--according to this study, a person receives more help when smiling!

For more information on smiling, the mind and mental health, check these out:

Book cover of Trauma-sensitive yoga in therapy : bringing the body into treatment  Book cover of Laugh your way to happiness : use the science of laughter for total well-being  Book cover of Suggestible you : a remarkable journey into the brain's ability to deceive, transform, and heal

Book cover of Smile for no good reason  Book cover of You are the placebo : making your mind matter

Why Smile  Book cover of The laughing cure : emotional and physical healing-- a comedian reveals why laughter really is the best medicine  Book cover of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga.