“I don’t know how many parts this thing will have, but you can be sure it will have at least one.”

When a friend told me a long time ago that we create our own reality I thought he was screwy, but I was willing to accept two things:

  1. If I spend a day arguing with everybody, perhaps smacking a few people I really don’t like, and wear a frown, at the end of that day I will probably conclude that other people are jerks because they will have treated me in kind.
  2. If I spend the day complimenting everyone I encounter, perhaps hugging a few people (whether I like them or not), and wear a smile, at the end of that day I will probably conclude that people are great because they will have treated me in kind.

Unless your psychiatrist has given you a really bad drug prescription you undoubtedly see the logic of what I am saying. Although if we all learn to smile like a horseshoe all the time, then we might conclude that everyone had gotten their hands on some really good pharmaceuticals. Even without any drugs we’d all be a lot happier.

These folks look pretty unhappy. Mouse over to see what a great effect a smile can have. Original image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Our facial expressions do express how we feel. That’s why we call them expressions instead of “arrangements.”

Malcolm Gladwell reports in his book Blink that researchers have determined that our facial expressions can also create our feelings.

Yep. If you raise your inner eyebrows, raise the cheeks, and lower the corners of the lips it is highly likely that you will feel sadness or anguish. If you lower your brows, raise the upper eyelids, narrow the eyelids, and press the lips together, then your hands are likely to get hot and your heartbeat is likely to rise 10 or 12 beats. You will feel anger.

If this isn’t creating your own reality I don’t know what is. Next time we’ll take the idea a bit farther.