When we’re told we look good, it’s almost always in relation to an emotion, and there are good reasons as to why that’s the case. In general, most happy people look and feel younger than those who are chronically stressed, angry or sad. Of course, no one lives in only one emotional space and fortunately many of us are able to balance a range of emotions. However, your “go-to” emotion, as often seen in your “go-to” facial expression can be aging you beyond your years. Understanding what that is can impact not only how you look, but also how you feel.
Studies show that emotions and facial expressions are intimately related and “being expressive” could be aging you more than you know. The good news is there is a lot you can do about it, and the best news is that the rejuvenating effects can be nearly instant.
Starting with facial anatomy: Many of the muscles of the face are connected to the skin in order to help make expressions to eat, talk, open and close your eyes, and to express your emotions. Making an expression sometimes creates an emotion as real as if you had the emotion before making the expression. This means that if you do something as simple as change your expression you might be able to affect your emotion. By smiling, don’t you feel just a little bit happier? Now frown. Don’t you feel a little mad or less happy?
People fight against the idea that looking better makes you feel better, as if it’s all vanity to want to look your best. Our skin and our appearance serve important emotional purposes for us. Sometimes you can get carried away with your expressions to the point where those emotions can secretly be aging your skin and you may begin to develop unnecessary lines and wrinkles.
Holding in feelings instead of expressing them, may cause you to grind your teeth and clench your jaw, which can make your face more square and bottom-heavy, which may make you look older. We naturally lose volume in the mid-face so the combination of that loss plus the heavier lower face is very aging.
Do you frown or furrow your brows when you’re “thinking” or as your first facial expression when someone talks to you? This can cause a permanent crease between your eyes, starting when you’re in your late 20’s and usually getting deeper over time.
If you rub your eyes, squint, cry over even the slightest of sad things, you may be more likely to have under-eye circles and crow’s feet or smile lines. By just being aware of your “emotional type” can help you soften the exaggeration of expression that’s aging you and could enhance your happiness and keep you looking younger and at your best.
The most important place to start is by recognizing your emotional trend and consciously working to smile more, frown less. This is a simple step to start with, but more powerful than any cosmetic treatment you can do. The most beautiful thing you can wear is a smile!
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