One of the most important facial expressions is a smile and is essential in expressing friendliness, agreement, and appreciation. A smile reflects an individual’s capacity to express a range of feelings and can regularly determine how well an individual performs in social life. A smile creates a feeling of well-being to the wearer and spectator.
One Friday this week, I smiled the entire day with everyone I met, irrespective of our relationship. Smiling all day enabled me to express myself and show my emotions. I also managed to break the tension of some of the acquaintances I met. Other people assumed that I was smiling out of pleasure; to be into continuing conversations amongst fellow students or rather wanted to bond socially together with them and maybe show dominance. Smiling all day, however, made me feel happy at some instances where spectators were in a joyous mood. At other instances, it changed my moods because I found myself compelled to smile.
When smiling to some people, they smiled back at me and this indicated a synchronized emotion. After a day of smiling, I felt my body was relaxed and healthier. Smiling also made others conclude that I was happy and a comfortable person to associate with. According to James-Lange theory, behavioral responses and physiological reactions come before the emotion (Feldman 2012). This implies that we become happy because of smiling. The theory, therefore, affirmed that stimuli in our surrounding resulted in responses and reactions but not emotions (Feldman 2012). The theory correlates a finding on a study conducted on the effect of happiness and brain activity (Boka 2010). From the study, “The findings correlate significantly with independent evidence of happiness ranging from activity in the brain to the estimates of friends and relatives” (Boka 2010: 204). The feelings I had after an entire day of smiling supports this assertion since, smiling influenced my mood and those of acquaintances I encountered (Bokb 2010). As I smiled, some smiled back at me while others became happy. Personally, smiling for an entire day made me feel better.
- Bok Derek. 2010. “The Significance of Happiness Research.” Pp. 204-213 in
The Politics of Happiness: What Government can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
- Bok Sissela. 2010. Can Happiness be Measured? Pp. 83-106 in Measurement. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
- Feldman, Lisa B. 2012. “Emotions are Real.” American Psychological Association