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This article is from the In-Depth Report The Science of Happiness
See Inside September / October 2009

Smile! It Could Make You Happier

Making an emotional face—or suppressing one—influences your feelings

No one yet knows why our facial expressions influence our emotions as they seem to. The associations in our mind between how we feel and how we react may be so strong that our expressions simply end up rein­forc­ing our emotions—there may be no evolutionary reason for the con­nec­tion. Even so, our faces do seem to communicate our states of mind not only to others but also to our­selves. “I smile, so I must be happy,” Grob says.

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