|Photo Credit: Anissat|
So what's our takeaway? Even if you feel rotten, smile. Laugh, even if nothing is particularly funny (but don't laugh maniacally in front of others--no sense taking an unnecessary trip to the psychiatric hospital!). Your body responds to the physical movements of emotion much as it responds to the conscious emotion itself. Happiness has definite positive chemical effects on the body--why not take advantage of them?
I'm not advising avoiding unpleasant emotion at all costs. You need to process anger, grief, and hurt. Pretending not to feel these major emotions will cause them to build up in you and you'll find yourself irritable or depressed. The emotion will come out somehow. But everyone has days that are just "blah." When you are bored, or cranky, or tired. On those days, making the conscious decision to smile anyway will make a rough day more pleasant, for you and those around you.