The Power of a Smile

Here’s a “funny” for you…”What did the 0 say to the 8?”

Read this post and the answer is at the bottom!

I often share random jokes in my Instagram stories. And, there’s actually a psychological reason for sharing random “funnies” other than just being silly.

There’s a principle called the Facial Feedback Hypothesis that was actually first introduced/suggested by Darwin in the 1870’s. Basically, it says that our facial muscles tell our brain how create our emotional states. I used to do a fun activity with my AP Psych students when I was teaching that demonstrated this.

First, I assigned each student to one of two groups. One group intentionally frowned OR held a pencil between their upper lip and nose which creates a grimace. The other group intentionally smiled the whole time OR held a pencil between their teeth which creates a “smile.” They had no idea why they were doing this!

I gave each of them a packet of random cartoons. The kids each had a sheet to “rank” the funniness of each cartoon.

Then, they ranked the cartoons. ONE HUNDRED percent of the time. Every year, for FIVE YEARS the smilers rated the cartoons as significantly funnier than the frowners!!!

What does this mean? If you’re feeling crabby, just smile!! Your brain will respond solely to your facial muscles and impact your emotional state. So when you’re working hard and your face eyebrows are all pinched together and you start feeling frustrated, just relax your face and SMILE. It will almost immediately impact your emotions.

Cool, right?

Your facial muscles play a role in your mood and to begin to shift that. All we have to do is move those muscles into a smile and our brain will respond to the movement of those muscles. If we’re smiling, our facial muscles trigger “feel good” emotions in our brain, and if we’re frowning, our facial muscles will trigger the opposite emotions.

The cool thing is that you can trick your emotional state merely by moving your face. That’s powerful. Move your cheeks…change your emotions.

Sidenote: this is why you should think twice about Botox treatments in your face. That has recently been shown to slow emotional responses in people who have the treatment!

Okay, back to the joke. Did you figure it out? No?!?

Here’s the question again, “What did the 0 say to the 8?”

“Nice belt!” (bahahahaha). And for those of you who are math wizards and don’t get it because you’re trying to figure out some formula for the joke, look at the shape of a 0 and the shape of an 8. An 8 is a “belted” 0!

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