If you're having a rough time of it, one surefire way to improve your mood is to smile. Seriously: there's research that suggests that if you want to feel better about a tough situation, putting on a smile can instantly improve your mood, and goes a long way towards helping you feel better.
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Over at OPENForum, Bruna Martinuzzi notes:
The Facial Feedback Hypothesis indicates that facial expressions representative of an emotion trigger changes in your body that are similar to those that happen when you experience the actual emotion. For example, your brain cannot tell the difference between a posed smile or a genuine smile. A posed smile will elicit, physiologically, the same pleasure or happiness response as a genuine smile. Your facial muscles cue your brain to experience that positive emotion. Taking notice of this, consider how this information can help you to regulate some of your emotional reactions by controlling your facial expressions.
Try this the next time you are in a bad mood: Instead of frowning, which reinforces a negative mood, consider smiling. Research has shown that by doing so, you are likely to experience a more positive mood.
Of course, this has its limits — you have to want to turn things around for it to really work. If you just got fired, putting a smile on your face isn't going to make everything right with the world — but if you stubbed your toe, you're late for a meeting, and your coffee's cold, a smile might take the edge off and keep you from thinking the day's just ruined.
Remember, over-faking it can actually make a bad mood worse, so use your internal BS sensor with this one. You'll be able to tell which situations a smile can help alleviate your stress and which situations call for more drastic measures.