How to Look Happy
You have been told that you are negative, and never look happy, and you're unsure how to fix it. Don't you just look how you look? Appearing happy is usually less about tricking people and more about tweaking your posture, word choice, and expression to actually feel happier. The best part is -- it is not so hard to do!
Appearing Physically Happy
Take a deep breath and let your muscles relax.Remind yourself to let the tension out of your muscles with a deep breath. Just relax, letting the small muscles in your face, neck and shoulders unclench. Are there any parts of your body you have curled or tensed nervously? Let them go. This physical tension is picked up by other people, even unconsciously, and tells them you are stressed or unhappy.
- What are your eyebrows and forehead doing? Let them relax -- downturned eyebrows and furrowed brows tell people you are less trustworthy.
- If you're really stressed, work down your body slowly. Take a breath and relax your face. Then take another and relax your shoulders, then arms, then legs, all the way to your toes.
Make yourself smile for 10 seconds -- it actually triggers "happy" neurochemicals in your brain.The very act of smiling actually makes you feel happier.So smiling not only makes you look happier, it makes it easier to keep looking happy. Make a habit of smiling more often, such as when greeting people or when you agree with a point someone makes. And, if you're really feeling down, smile at yourself in the mirror. The mental boost is real.
- Aim for a big, open-lipped smile. Showing your teeth is a good thing!
- In a full, genuine smile, you should feel creases in the skin by your eyes. Your whole face lights up with the smile.
Let yourself laugh more.Go online and learn a couple of jokes. Repeat a semi-embarrassing story about yourself. Let yourself chuckle at an off-color story or a joke a friend is telling. Whatever your strategy, find more excuses to let out a good laugh as much as possible. You'll look happier automatically, and the lingering smile will help you feel happier too.
Stand up straight, keep your chin up, and pull your shoulders back to open your body invitingly.Great posture and body positioning is key to appearing happy. Furthermore, good posture actually helps you feel better, making it a lot easier to actually look happy. You want to appear open and inviting to conversation, showing the calm confidence that happy people have.
- When standing, "line up" you major joints. Your shoulders are above your hips, which are above your knees, which are above your ankles, forming a straight line up.
- Pull your shoulders back to puff your chest slightly out. Your spine should be upright, not hunched forward or backward.
- Keep your chin parallel to the floor and make eye contact when speaking to others to build trust and confidence
Take pride in your appearances.Wear clothes that make you feel sexy. Shower and spritz on a perfume, cologne, or spray that you enjoy. Get the haircut you've always wanted. When you don't have to think about your outside appearance, you can calm down and focus on your inner "appearance." Wearing clothes you love and taking pride in your looks is a great way to exude happiness in any situation.
- Clothes don't buy happiness, and you don't need new outfits to look happy. Rather, just spend an extra 5 minutes in the morning to look fresh, providing confidence all day long.
Use happy, affirmative words when talking to people whenever possible.Pay compliments instead of offering critiques. Talk about the things your "love" instead of the things you "hate." Whenever possible, think of your words as an extension of your expression. Constantly saying negative or degrading words will make you appear much less happy and much more bitter.
Find and vocalize the positives of a bad or upsetting situation first.This takes some training, but is the instant hallmark of happy people. To appear, and feel, in control of sticky situations, start with all the positives you can find, making note of the good before the bad. This doesn't mean smiling disingenuously -- rather, it means avoiding the sink into sad, angry, or negative thoughts and expressions. Let these negative thoughts drift off by replacing them with positive ones.
- Pepper your conversation with more words like "do-able," "silver-lining," and "challenging," instead of "too hard," "painful," or "unfortunate obligations." The way you frame arguments is important.
- When faced with tough decisions or moments, talk more about possible solutions and less about causes. Happy-looking people aim for the future instead of dwelling on the past.
Eliminate criticism for your internal monologue, especially about yourself.If you are making yourself feel unhappy on the inside, then you're going to show it on the out. Happy-looking people don't dwell on self-doubt and criticism, instead replacing these thoughts with more realistic thoughts. This, of course, is easier said than done. But the first step -- simply noting these critical thoughts and ignoring them -- is a powerful first step to looking happier.
- Remember that people pay less attention to you than you think. If you believe, "everyone thinks I'm dumb," or "everyone is looking at me," you'll look stressed. But the honest truth is "everyone" is not even thinking about you. Like yourself, they are only thinking of them!
- Harping past mistakes doesn't change them. Laughing about the mistake and thinking about how not to repeat it will help you appear happier.
Be your own best advocate -- don't put yourself down to appear "modest."'Talking about your accomplishments a little bit, or your moments of pride, is not being a braggart. Some people only feel comfortable making mean comments about themselves or diminishing their successes, thinking it makes the modest. What it really does is make you feel insecure, and let's other people know that you don't value your own deeds.
- Happy people take compliments with a smile and sincere thank you, not a deflected put-down.
- Happy people mention their successes when appropriate, keeping it short without glossing over the personal pride in their work.
Creating Happiness When You're Unhappy
Take action to remedy the things making you look and feel unhappy.Sitting around and feeling down will show on your face. But getting up and doing something about it will wipe the unhappy look right off your face. If you're feeling unhappy, go do something about it. Just moving around will clear the unhappy look from your face as you concentrate on actions, not emotions.
Slow down and take your time, avoiding busywork or rushing.When you feel like you must move a mile a minute or fall behind everything. While happy people are often busy and productive, they don't let work or deadlines take up all of their mental energy. Stop, take a deep breath, and move a little bit slower.
- If you're constantly feeling overwhelmed, trim away 1-2 responsibilities. Feeling productive is good -- feeling overworked isn't.
Remember that happiness isn't tied to outside events -- it comes completely from you.The outside world, of course, affects our happiness. But you'll have a much harder time looking happy if you are fixated on good grades, a new bonus, a winning sports team, or any other external "source" of happiness. Remind yourself that happiness is an internal emotion, as much a choice as any other look or feeling, whenever the outside world wants to rain on your parade.
- Keep in mind the things you can actually change or improve, and the bad things that happen that are completely out of your control. If you can't change or fix something (like a losing sports team), you can't be unhappy about it. Unhappiness fixes nothing on its own.
Help other people regularly, through charity or daily acts of kindness.Helping other people, and making other people happy, is one of the most powerful ways to take control of your own happiness as well.When you're feeling unhappy, find someone to do a small favor for, even if it is just holding the door. The boost in happiness will spread to your face and posture, helping you to look happy even after the moment is long over.
Take care of your body to take care of your mind.Some signs of happy people, such as the "glow" they emit or their carefree posture, are the result of total body health, not a mental switch is thrown on and off. Increasingly, studies show that your mental and physical health are deeply related, so taking care of one will always benefit the other. Looking happy is a lifetime goal, not a simple box to check off, so make an effort to incorporate the following into your life:
- Exercise for at least 30-60 minutes 4-5 times a week.
- Well-balanced meals, high in fruits and vegetables.
- Taking dedicated time each week away from work to relax.
- Keeping a clean and reasonably organized living space.
QuestionWhy is my life a joke?Top AnswererOne thing that might help is to keep a diary. Write down what you think and feel and what happens in your life. After six months, read it back to yourself, see if these things still seem as important. Find something you're passionate about, spend more time doing that.Thanks!
QuestionI am always happy, but my face always shows as if I'm sad, so everyone asks what happened. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTurn around and smile. It seems like you don't know what expression you have on your face, so learn it. Stand in front of a mirror with your "sad face" and work on making your face look less sad in its restful state.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I have resting sad face?IloveamericaCommunity AnswerThere's not really much you can do to change your resting face, except practice smiling frequently, but if anyone asks if you are sad, just tell them how you really feel.Thanks!
- Try wearing bright colors. It makes you seem more happy and approachable rather than if you wore all black.
- Talk to people in an uplifting tone.
Video: How To Be Happy With How You Look ! + Guy Guessing at Heathrow Airport (episode 81)
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