Day 54: Putting On A Happy Face

In psychology there is this concept called the “Facial-Feedback Hypothesis” that believes if you mimic certain facial movements, such as a smile, that are associated with an emotion you can induce that particular emotional state. It is the idea that you can create happiness out of nothing.

While I am required to write an essay about this facial-feedback hypothesis for school, I wanted to dive into it in a way that is informal and intimate.

Emotions are something that we all experience every single day. They are intricate and complicated, not a single part of the brain processes emotions rather they are analyzed across different parts of the mind. As we go through a single day, we can experience a wide array of emotions and each effects us in a different way.

However, there are some that believe emotions can be cultivated by faking them until you make them. Putting on a happy face may induce emotions of happiness for a time being, yet they are superficial. Practicing your smile may make you feel happy for a time being, but you are not creating true happiness.

Real happiness cannot be cultivated by some facial-feedback hypothesis. It cannot be controlled through experiments or by faking it until you can actually make it. True happiness is not a lab experiment.

Happiness is found throughout random moments of life. It is found in unexpected places and it is found when you are not looking for it. The more you try and chase after it, the more it will allude you. While you might feel better by trying to put on a smile, you are not creating true happiness. True happiness is the feeling that stirs inside of you that you cannot resist. It’s the smile or the laugh that you simply cannot hold inside. It shakes you to your core with giggles and you find your lips hurting from smiling so much.

While it might not be possible to cultivate happiness with a hypothesis, you can cultivate a happier life. Surrounding yourself with people you love, doing work that makes you happy, and taking care of yourself on days when you need it can ultimately lead to true happiness. Putting on a smile will never make you happy, but surrounding yourself with things you love will definitely make you happier.

No matter how many hypothesis are created to try and help you create happiness, know that real life is no experiment. Happiness will come when you allow yourself the opportunity to love the life you are living.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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