Physiology vs. Psychology: Facial and Body Expressions Can Affect Your Mood and Mental Health - Part 2

Physiology vs. Psychology: Facial and Body Expressions Can Affect Your Mood and Mental Health - Part 2

Here we continue with Part 2 of the article. If you want to catch up with Part 1 you can do so here.


Using Facial Expressions for a Positive Mood and Better Mental Health

Harnessing the power of facial expressions for improved mental health is a skill worth mastering. Whether you're feeling down or seeking to boost your overall well-being, here are some techniques to consider:

  • Practice Mindful Smiling: Incorporate moments of conscious smiling into your day. It can be as simple as smiling at your reflection in the mirror or during a phone call. Over time, this practice can have a significant impact on your mood.
  • Express Gratitude: When you express gratitude with a smile, you not only brighten your day but also share positive vibes with those around you. It's a win-win situation for mental health and interpersonal relationships.
  • Body Posture Matters: Body language is equally crucial. Maintain an upright posture and open gestures to promote a sense of confidence and well-being.
  • Embrace Laughter: Laughter is a potent tool for boosting your mood. Whether through social interactions, comedy shows, or even laughter yoga, seek opportunities to laugh heartily.

How to Read Facial Expressions

Understanding your own facial expressions is one facet, but decoding the emotions of those around you is equally essential. Learning to read facial expressions can improve your empathy and interpersonal skills.

  • Observe the Eyes: The eyes are often referred to as the "windows to the soul." They can reveal joy, sadness, anger, or surprise. Pay attention to eye movements and expressions.
  • Look at the Mouth: The mouth conveys happiness, sadness, or even hidden emotions. Smiles, frowns, and lip movements all speak volumes.
  • Notice the Forehead and Brows: Raised eyebrows might indicate surprise, while furrowed brows often signify concern or anger. The forehead is a canvas of emotional expressions.
  • Consider the Context: Remember that facial expressions should be analyzed within the context of the situation. What's the overall atmosphere, and what events led to the expression you're observing?

Emotional Contagion of Happy Faces

By a study conducted by Frontiers in Psychology that used the facial EMG activity which was measured using a bioelectric amplifier of a group of people showed interesting results our team want to share with you.

A one-way ANOVA test revealed there were significant differences in the happy and sad mood scores between four groups of participants before the presentation of facial stimuli.

Therefore, the research team used the happy and sad mood change score as the dependent variable in the following analysis. The purpose of the study was to explore the usefulness of emotional contagion in modifying depressive moods in people.

Our Simplementesoi team present more in the graphic below. So indeed if you force yourself to smile you can trick your brain and be happier even if you do not feel that immediately. Indeed, perceiving positive facial expression can relieve depressive moods via the effect of emotional contagion on mood even in people with subthreshold depression.


In conclusion, the interplay between physiology and psychology is a fascinating exploration. Our facial and body expressions are not just passive mirrors of our emotions; they are active players that can shape our mental health.

By understanding and actively utilizing this connection, we hold the key to fostering positive moods and enhancing our overall mental well-being. So, remember to smile, stand tall, and embrace the power of your expressions as you navigate the intricate dance of life.

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