Send a Tweet
Small Acts
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 334 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Articles   

Smile Anatomy: Emotional Self Regulation and Facial Expression Muscle Measurement and Training

By       (Page 2 of 11 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall



Copyrighted Image? DMCA

Images of smiling faces Darwin published in his book

This universal set of facial expressions strongly suggests that the most common emotional expressions are not learned, like the hundreds of spoken languages, but rather, are wired into our nervous systems. We smile or frown because the facial expressions are programmed, through our genes, into our being. The dog's bark and cat's meow, the shocked look of surprise, the sneer of disgust and the happy smile are woven into the spiral helix of the DNA that spells out the definition and specifications of each species.


Just as hair and skin color, height and nose shape are passed along from parent to child, many of the facial muscles and other body parts that express emotion are also hereditarily influenced, giving some people blinding smiles, with flashing gums. or distorted attempts at smiles which produce barely perceptible movements at the corners of the mouth.


Emotional Illiteracy

Emotional expression starts at birth with crying and takes many weeks or months to begin blooming. Parents lovingly work to cultivate those first smiles, coos and laughs. Long before the child can deevelops language skills, he can cry, scream or smile anything out of Mama or Papa. Once walking and talking begin, our culture shifts all the emphasis there, almost forgetting emotional communication skills entirely. Emotional expression training tapers off, with few if any conscious efforts at the emotional equivalent of grammar training or vocabulary building or further development of the language of emotions. We're left to fend for ourselves.


Over 100 years ago a debate on one of the most important aspects of human emotion began. What comes first? Does something which happens in our environment, like the screeching of tires, set off a racing heart beat so we feel the pounding in the chest and become aware of the emotion? Or do we hear the tires, feel the fear and become fearful, thus setting the heart racing?


Pioneer psychologist, William James, took this position in the debate, " An emotion of fear, for example, or surprise, is not a direct effect of these objects's presence on the mind, but an effect of that still easier effect, the bodily commotion which the object suddenly excites; so that, were this bodily commotion suppressed, we should not so much feel fear as call the situation fearful; we should not feel surprise.., but coldly recognize that the object was indeed astonishing. ...the mere giving way to tears, for example, or to the outward expression of an anger-fit, will result for the moment in making the inner grief or anger more acutely felt."


James' following observation spells out the heart of the pattern activation component of the Happiness Response model of emotional self regulation. "...Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not. ...Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, to look round cheerfully, and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such conduct does not make you soon feel cheerful, nothing else on that occasion can.


Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11

Rate It | View Ratings

Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

One theme has run through my work for the past 40 plus years-- a desire to play a role in waking people up, raising their consciousness and empowering them. I was the organizer founder of the Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology and StoryCon Meetings and president of Futurehealth, Inc., with interests in (more...)
 

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

 
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Politics of Responsibility, Self Regulation & Optimal Functioning (2957 views)

Smile Anatomy: Emotional Self Regulation and Facial Expression Muscle Measurement and Training (1813 views)

Quotations By Thoreau on Finding the Best Within Ourselves and Living It (1462 views)

Positive Perception: Learn to See the World You Want: Self Regulation of selective perceptual filtering (1424 views)

Living in The Vein of Gold and Falling out. (1336 views)

Total Views: 8992

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: