Fake It Til You Make It: Why Smiling Can Boost Your Mood

Did you know that smiling can actually trick your brain into thinking it is really happy?

As high schoolers, we are at a period in our lives where so much is changing and happening around us. 

Freshman have just started a new chapter in their lives, sophomores are doing whatever it is sophomores do, juniors are trying to survive their junior year, and seniors are applying for college and planning their future. 

It’s a time of uncertainty and with that can come a lot of stress, fear, and anxiety. It can be a truly difficult task to smile or feel happy sometimes, it may feel as though you have no reason to smile. But, that’s where you’re wrong. 

Did you know that smiling can actually trick your brain into thinking it really is happy? Even when you are in one of those disgusting moods, where you are irritated at everything and are upset for no reason, or you’re sick and feeling down in the dumps, fake smiles could turn into real ones.

I briefly mentioned this in my last column and was so intrigued by the science behind it that I wanted to dive a little deeper. 

It sounds hard to believe and very strange, that you can smile and be happy when you simply aren’t happy. But science and studies have found that smiling can boost your mood and immune system, and lower stress. 

Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine, said that smiling stimulates a chemical reaction to take place in your brain where dopamine and serotonin are released.

“Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress,” said Dr. Gupta. 

Basically, smiling spurs a chemical reaction in your brain to make you think you are happy. 

Even faking a smile can trick your brain. 

According to Dr. Murrary Grossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist in Los Angeles, happiness can boost your body’s resistance. 

“What’s crazy is that just the physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity,” said Dr. Grossan. 

So it doesn’t make if you’re smiling out of genuine happiness or just faking it until you make it. Either way, you are truly helping yourself out. 

The obvious fact about smiling is that it makes you feel better. When you are smiling, or see someone else smiling, it just makes you feel good. At least, for me it does. Seeing someone happy or in a good mood makes me more likely to feel happy and in a good mood. 

The next time you’re feeling down, whatever the reason may be, I encourage you to try smiling. Watch a funny video, talk to someone that makes you happy, or simply try fake smiling. Keep in mind how you feel as you do this, and don’t forget that smiling has genuine benefits for your mind and body. 

Don’t forget to smile today!