Is you day going badly with none of the “proverbial” sunshine ahead on the horizon?
I have read that the simple act of smiling can change your attitude. Your body mimics inwardly what you are displaying outwardly. Also, it is fairly universal across cultures that a frown conveys a negative message and a smile conveys a positive one.
But, does it take more muscles to frown than it does to smile? I put on my researcher goggles and went searching. When I typed “muscles needed to frown” into my little search window there were 3,930,000 results! This has been a debate for a while now and likely one that is based more on old wive’s tales.
The science behind it
“There are 43 muscles in the face, most of which are controlled by the seventh cranial nerve (also known as the facial nerve). This nerve exits the cerebral cortex and emerges from your skull just in front of your ears. It then splits into five primary branches: temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular and cervical. These branches reach different areas of the face and enervate muscles that allow the face to twist and contort into a variety of expressions.” How It Works
Now, it cannot be ignored that one person’s smirk is another’s cheek to cheek grin. We all do it differently.
Then I found an article that states it takes more muscles to smile than to frown! “According to Dr. David Song (University of Chicago Medical Center) who recently did a study on the topic, the average frown requires 11 muscles while an average smile requires 12.” Zidbits If this is true the muscles used are very close in number.
So, it comes down to energy and I read over and over and I am not going to list every article I read that the effort needed to frown is greater than needed for a smile. “Physiologically and emotionally, a smile tells our brains that we are safe, that we fit in (or want to fit in), and that we can relax. When we smile at others, it sends a message of trust and good will. Consequently, we’re seen as open and approachable.” Mary Marcdante
PLUS, when we smile others smile with us. It’s a gift that can be passed on with little effort and with great reward.