The Psychology of a Smile

Sometimes there are some stories which get into the media and which immediately go global…and then there are others which, although they are factually fascinating, get buried under the avalanche of information which is out there on a daily, if not hourly basis.

One such story which falls in the last category, was the fact that if you smile, it immediately makes you look, and feel, happier.

It seems that this works because our facial expression sends messages to the brain, which triggers signals to the regions that process emotions.  The clever boffins at  the University of Tennessee ran a study which seemingly proved the correlation between the the upward curve of our lips and the degree of happiness experienced…and apparently it didn’t matter if the smile was huge grin, or just a slight twitch.  It even worked when the person was holding a pen to curl their lips upwards.  The full review is published in the Psycological Bulletin Journal.


I found the whole subject really interesting, particularly because, on a daily basis, I see patients who hate the fact that they look so miserable and glum all the time….and my first words of advice are for them to learn to smile more…because when we smile, not only do the corners of the mouth go up, but the eyes ‘soften’ and the overall look is gentler and warmer…and more appealing.  That’s Step One.

Step Two is to consider treatment to address any Marionette Lines…those are the lines which run from the corner of the mouth to the chin.  We all get them eventually, because it is part of the natural ageing process as gravity takes control of facial muscles….but that doesn’t mean that we have to live with them. Cosmetic surgery procedures can work wonders these days. There are plenty of non-invasive treatments around, as well as full-on face lifts….but as long as the lines are not too deep I have found that a couple of Threads can lift the area successfully and stop the droop any further.  The results can be astounding on the happiness-scale!

Just remember that it is not a forever solution though, as threads last for about 18-24 months but if you keep smiling in the meantime, who knows…you might just train those facial muscles to stay in the right place!

So, if Marionette Lines are making you glum, then come and see me…and let’s see what we can do to cheer you up.  0207 436 4441.

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