An interesting quote from an article about Paul Ekman, Professor of Psychology at UC San Francisco:
”Crucial to how we feel is being aware of how we are feeling in the moment.
The sine qua non [literally “without which nothing”; i.e., the key to making this useful] of that is to realize that you are being emotional in the first place.
The earlier you recognize an emotion, the more choice you will have in dealing with it.
In Buddhist terms, it is recognizing the spark before the flame.
In Western terms, it is trying to increase the gap between impulse and saying or doing anything you might regret later.”
Dr. Ekman has researched facial emotional responses, and developed the Facial Action Coding System used in forensics and by animators.
One of his interesting discoveries was that if you put your face into one of the positions associated with an emotion, you will come to feel that emotion. What a useful tool this can be!
-->>Make your face smile, and you will begin to feel happiness!<<--
He is demonstrating one of the core beliefs of CBT: You CAN change your behavior, because you can change your emotions. If you can start the process simply by changing your expression, imagine what you can do if you change your underlying beliefs as well!
Now, here’s a rule to follow: stick your tongue out at EVERY mirror you pass. You won’t be the only one who smiles....
For more information about Dr. Ekman’s research: