Amy Rees Anderson

If No One Can See Your Mouth Is It Still Worth Smiling?

We’ve all heard the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear, does it make a sound?”  As I was out and about with me N95 mask on today I thought to myself, “If you have a smile on my face but no one can see your mouth cause you’re wearing a mask, is it still worth smiling?” Of course it is!!! 

For starters, even with a mask on people still notice your smile, even when they can’t see your mouth. They are able to still see the smile in your eyes, and the happy little smile lines on the sides of your face, and they can hear your smile in the tone of your voice.  

Don’t believe me? Then believe the science. In an article in Scientific America, Stella Marie Hombach writes, “People’s ability to recognize emotional expressions does not get worse if their mouth and nose are covered. A real smile does not only move the mouth. Facial muscles—the zygomaticus major and the orbicularis oculi—also contract. The corners of the mouth turn up, and laugh lines appear around the eyes. In the study, observing the area around the eyes was usually enough to recognize someone else’s feelings. “      

A mask on your face doesn’t mask your smile – people do still see it, and they feel it, and as a result it’s contagious and causes them to smile too.

On top of what it does for others is what a smile does for you. As Nicole Spector shares, “Science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life….A smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress… In other words, smiling can trick your brain into believing you’re happy which can then spur actual feelings of happiness.” 

It’s just a fact – when we smile we feel happier. And when we smile, others smile and feel happier too. So never let a mask keep you from smiling because smiling is worth it, for you and for everyone you come in contact with. So spread the happiness!!! #worthit

Have a great weekend everyone. And SMILE!

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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