Why a Pencil in Your Mouth Can Make You Happier
We can become happier by smiling more, psychologists suggest. And despite many stressful factors, we can fix our mood by using a pencil, researchers say. So, let’s be the creators of our own happiness and not allow it to fade.
We at Bright Side grew curious about how it’s possible to improve our mood with a simple trick and would like to share it with you.
Simple actions and behaviors can shape our emotions.
The topic of happiness has been studied for many decades and some researchers came up with an interesting thought. Simple actions of your body can affect your emotions. As a great example, there’s evidence that women with less confidence in leadership roles can feel empowered when they see a photograph of a powerful political female in front of them.
The same mechanism happens with a smile: “Being amused tends to make you smile and smiling tends to make you feel amused.” Some students were asked to rate how funny a cartoon was. And a surprising conclusion was made. Those who were holding a pencil in their mouth found the cartoon to be funnier.
Why a pencil in your mouth has a happiness effect
A replication of the study with students and cartoons has just proven the theory to be true yet again. This simple action was very effective. So by putting a pencil in your mouth in a horizontal way, the lips automatically form the shape of a smile. And your body recognizes it.
Simply put, your brain is constantly monitoring all the things that happen in your body. Then it starts to analyze them to judge how you’re feeling. So basically, you trick your brain with a happy expression on your face.
The effect can last from 15 minutes to up to 2 days.
In one more curious finding, it was noted that the effect of such a simple action could last from 15 minutes to 20 minutes — to up to 2 days, and this impact is constant. The body and brain are incredibly sensitive and can be corrected with easy stimulus.
Such stimuli can be sounds, tastes, smells, and visual effects. So it’s better to pay attention to what we consume every day.
You can practice any emotion by controlling your body.
When you put yourself in a happier position, your mood can be boosted. But the same effect can happen with “unhappy” actions. If you start to practice a depressed face, you’ll notice how your mood is getting worse. You can try it even without a pencil.
As far as other simple actions that can make you happier, psychologists recommend standing tall and breathing well so that you feel more confident.
Do you have your own tricks that always work to improve your mood? Please share them with us!