One of the hardest things to do when something is bothering you is to put on a happy face and smile. It seems kind of crazy to even think about doing something like smiling or pretending to be happy when you are far from feeling that way.
However, by smiling and acting happy, you do feel better.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “Fake it until you make it”? This can relate to how you feel too. If you feel sad, fake your happiness until you are happy. Acting like you are happy and putting a smile on your face can help you feel less unhappy, or at least help overcome some everyday frustrations.
Benefits of Faking Happiness
Have you ever been down in the dumps and had someone try and cheer you up? You most likely hope they will just go away and leave you alone. After all, how can someone be so insensitive, not even knowing what is going on in your life? Well, before you start snarling or growling at them, stop and try to smile and appear like everything will be alright. Give it a try next time!
By simply putting a smile on your face you can trick your body into believing you are happy. When you smile your body starts to produce more of the hormone called dopamine, which increases the feeling of happiness. Another hormone that reduces stress is serotonin, and it also increases when you are happy. Just the action of smiling can dupe your body into believing that humor is taking place.
Someone who is happy most generally has lower levels of stress. Stress can have a bad effect on your overall health. During a stressful situation, a person’s heart rate can skyrocket, but if you can muster a smile it can counteract and lower your heart rate, and decrease the pressures of stress!
Believe it or not, some people get up in the morning and spend several minutes smiling. It is part of their routine. Some people spend time smiling and others go to the gym. They do this exercise to get their day started on the right foot. Some couples even do this exercise together. If you don’t have a partner or the thought of staring and smiling at someone makes you feel a little weird, start by looking in the mirror and smiling at the person staring back at you.
In some professions, people use smiling exercises. Sale call centers or dispatch jobs often deal with people on the other end of the phone who are not always pleasant. Either they don’t want to be bothered with sales calls or people calling into dispatch are trying to manage their own very stressful jobs.
People working in these centers sometimes take 30 to 60 seconds every hour or two just to smile. It refreshes the mind and body, lessens work-related stress, and keeps one from burning out.
Some work in stressful call centers where they even put a clown nose on while dealing with a difficult customer. Have you ever tried to get angry while wearing a clown nose? Perhaps we should all buy one and keep it handy!
Could Faking Happiness Do More Damage than Good?
If a person fakes their way through difficult situations, some say they are not addressing the real issue at hand. By faking their way through a tough time, they are not dealing with the problem directly. If not dealt with, they may become more depressed about what is bothering them, and the faking becomes more difficult each time. So smiling and acting happy isn’t the absolute cure, and yes, if the problems continue to be ignored, it’s simply prolonging the inevitable.
Therefore, does smiling or acting happy make things worse? No. It helps you get through the moment without crying or having a complete meltdown.
It helps boost up the good hormones so you can see things more objectively when you are ready to deal with them, instead of seeing only the negative. It’s hard to think positively when you are not in the right mood.
Just Be Happy
Sounds simple enough, right? It actually is! Once you learn how to smile even when things are crashing all around you, it strengthens you. It aids in a better understanding of the whole situation. It helps you build better relationships and find happiness in places you once thought impossible. It’s like finding the good in everything – like looking for the silver lining.
The key is to address the issues which seem to be blocking your true happiness and don’t leave them unattended for too long.