Thursday, January 17, 2019

What on Earth is Facial Feedback Hypothesis?

We have been programmed to think. Being humans, this is something which comes naturally to us. What comes rather unnaturally is the habit of over-thinking. While we keep chewing the cud at times, we begin to live in a virtual world, full of hypothetical circumstances and non-existent situations. What could have been a really simple situation is often made complicated by the thoughts infected with ‘could and would.' Duh! 

So, some time back, I came across a phrase – Facial Feedback Hypothesis – and I couldn’t hold myself from trying if it works. Boy! It did and I am glad I now know how to tame any bad situation without having to store some useless data in my brain to regurgitate it later.

It’s simple. You trick your brain into believing that since you are smiling, things ought to be normal. Despite the screw-ups, we smile because then the repercussions wouldn’t be as dire as they would have been had we thought through them tad too much. The next time when you come across a cranky child sitting next to you in a long flight or a stubborn client, who is nothing short of horrible, you take a deep breath and smile. You know why, because anyway your running a motion picture of possibilities in your mind wouldn’t help mend the situation. Instead, it would make real you catching some diseases as a result of staying in the pseudo-world for too long.

Alternatively, smile through the tough times, as you anyway would face the next minute, the next hour, the next day and what not as an extension of this moment. Battle it out once and for all when it happens in real instead of boiling your blood over if’s and when’s. Our facial expressions do affect our emotions and, believe me, it irks the bad (be it the person, situation or memory) even more. Force your 26 facial muscles to smile, instead of 62 to frown, through the bad days and you can always come back to thank me here later.

Here’s what I got from Wikipedia to support what I said. Now, would you smile a little broader and wider, please?

"If no bodily changes are felt, there is only an intellectual thought, devoid of emotional warmth. In The Principles of Psychology, William James wrote: Refuse to express a passion, and it dies."

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