Since the famous Ted Talk, it seems like everyone knows biting down on a pen can make you feel happier!
This curious phenomenon is actually rooted in science: when you make the shape of a smile with your mouth, your body releases chemicals that promote happiness. This is known as "the facial feedback theory" of emotion, and it suggests that the act of smiling can actually make you feel happier.
But did you know that the opposite is also true?
In a large study of women who received Botox injections, researchers found that the inability to make certain facial expressions impacted their emotional wellbeing.
Because Botox relaxes the muscles in the face, women who received injections couldn't make the same range of facial expressions as before. As a result, their bodies were less likely to produce chemicals that promote happiness. This led researchers to conclude that a lack of facial expressions could negatively impact mood.
The idea of using substances to alter one's appearance is hardly new. In fact, women have been using potentially harmful substances for centuries in the name of beauty.
For example, in ancient Rome, women would use lead-based cosmetics to achieve a pale complexion. In the 16th and 17th centuries, women would put drops of deadly nightshade (also known as belladonna) in their eyes to dilate their pupils and make their eyes appear larger. In the 19th century, women used arsenic-based face powders to achieve a porcelain-like complexion.
Today, we may look back on these practices with horror, but they illustrate a persistent human desire to alter one's appearance. In some cases, the risks associated with these practices were well-known, but women still felt compelled to try them in the pursuit of beauty.
The use of Botox injections is not as extreme as some of these examples, but it's worth considering the potential risks and benefits before making a decision. While many people are satisfied with the results of their Botox treatments, others experience negative side effects such as drooping eyelids or difficulty speaking. Additionally, as we've seen, Botox injections can impact emotional wellbeing by limiting one's range of facial expressions.
Ultimately, the decision to get Botox or any other cosmetic treatment is a personal one. It's important to be fully informed about the potential risks and benefits before making a decision. By taking the time to research and consider your options, you can make a choice that's right for you and your wellbeing.