We all know that Botox injections “freeze” the face.
But what if Botox does more than just “freezing” the face? What if it also “freezes” one’s emotions?
A considerable body of research has proven that the physical act of smiling, promotes a feeling of well-being.
So if one were unable to smile, would the counter run true as well? Would this affect a person’s ability to feel?
An experiment conducted at Barnard College by Joshua Ian and his colleagues proves that the partial paralysis from Botox does, in fact, diminish one’s ability to feel emotion. The hypothesis was that if this proved to be true, then this same theory could be used to treat anxiety and depression by directly addressing facial expressions in a way that stops negative emotions from leading to serious emotional and mental issues.
Two groups of women were chosen, those having had a Botox treatment and those without. The women were asked to watch several video clips, from funny to scary. After viewing the clips the women were asked to rate how they felt. The women with the Botox reported less of an emotional reaction to the clips. This proved that immobility of facial expressions causes a loss in emotional experience.
I found this study fascinating and will be sharing more about how this knowledge could help with feeling negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. What is interesting in all this is that in the book I’m writing, I make a big case for “Acting As If” as a way to treat depression. (In fact, there is a book by the same title.)
I had learned by observing my own behavior and before I read anything at all about “acting as if”, that if I acted like I wasn’t depressed, my mood would lighten. On the days I could keep it up, my depression would run scurrying to the corner. It is a principle that really works and more importantly, has been proven scientifically to work. I am surprised that more people aren’t aware of this.
Anyway, I will be sharing more about this principle in future posts. Till then, try smiling even when your mood is low. You’ll be amazed how something so simple can help.
God bless and I hope you have a good day.