Why Is Fake Smiling Bad for Your Mental Health?

Ashley | 11 - 09 - 2020
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Have you ever faked a smile just to avoid unsolicited advice for being sad? If so then do you want to know why you should not fake a smile and how it might affect you? In this article, we have given complete information about fake smiling

Smiling is a way of expressing happiness. When you smile, it increases your level of happy hormones. Many studies suggest that smiling can greatly improve your physical health including reducing blood pressure, stress, and pain. 

What Is a Fake Smile?

One can usually smile only when they are happy. If you smile even when you are not happy and do not feel like smiling then you are faking a smile. When you smile there are 2 essential muscles that activate. The first one is called Zygomaticus Major which controls the corners of your mouth. The second one is called Orbicularis Oculi and it controls your eye socket. Normally, when you smile wholeheartedly not only your lips widen but also you can see your under eyes widening creating a hollowness. The first muscle, Zygomaticus Major and the second muscle, Orbicularis Oculi both are activated at this time.  This smile is called Duchenne smile which is named after a scientist who is known for differentiating the concept of ‘mouth corners only smile’ and ‘eye socket smile’. 

1. Zygomaticus Major Controls the Corners of Your Mouth.
  • A. True
  • B. False

How Can You Tell a Fake Smile?

Yes, of course! You can spot if someone is putting on a fake smile easily if you know how it works.

  • When you fake a smile only your second muscle, orbicularis oculi is activated, hence you can only notice the wide spread of the mouth corners and the eye socket muscles remain the same. This is usually called ‘social smile’. In this case, you cannot notice a squinted or closed eye. 
  • When you smile genuinely, you can find the wrinkles under your eyes. If it is not found then it is probably a fake smile.
  • Usually when your brain feels happy it releases endorphins and that triggers a natural smile. hence, you can instantly identify a fake happy face as it would be too obvious and they force themselves to smile even when they do not want to. 

Why Do People Fake Smiles?

Smiling at each other is believed as a way of greeting and to let people know that they still remember them. People usually smile in public either when they see someone they know well or even to an unknown person just to break the ice. It is also a gesture to show people that you are friendly to make yourself and others feel comfortable. Imagine you are in an unfamiliar place and a friendly smile from someone can instantly make you feel good and creates trust. But here are some reasons why people fake their smiles and what does a fake smile mean?

  • Imagine you are in a hurry to miss your train and you suddenly see someone you know. At this point, you might not have time to have a small talk hence, you simply fake a smile and move on. 
  • When you see someone smiling, your brain instantly allows you to mimic the smile which can sometimes be a fake smile depending on your mood and how well you know the person. 
  • Faking a  smile is a surviving strategy to fit into society and to basically please people. Fake smile is an indication to just tell people to like them. 
  • You might fake a smile if you see someone you do not secretly like. 
  • You might fake a smile, if you suddenly see someone you do not want to see(Probably your ex) 

When you fake a smile, it is a clear indication that you are unhappy. A Fake smile can also affect your brain, indicating that you are unhappy, hence it can affect your mood the whole day.

Many studies suggest that people who smile wholeheartedly tend to live a happier life than people who fake their smiles. Now that you learnt all about fake smiling and why it is not healthier, let’s try to spread a positive and genuine smile to everyone. It can instantly light up their mood even when they feel down. Imagine you meeting a stranger on a train who just went through a breakup. If you smile at them you create a kind of trust to make them believe that there are humans in this world who they can still rely on. 

Let’s learn to give a smile to whoever needs it!

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