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Psychological Effects of Facial Exercises

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Abstract

Recently, it has been clarified that smiling has a positive effect on both physical and mental health. However, few studies have taught participants how to smile specifically and verified the effects of smiling. This study involved 13 undergraduates and graduate students at A-University practicing the Unpani Exercise in their daily lives for two weeks to clarify the psychological effects of smiling. Before and after the experiment, participants answered the Japanese version of Rosenberg’s Self-esteem Scale, the psychological stress reaction scale, the Japanese version of the Ten Item Personality Inventory, and the mental toughness evaluation scale. To clarify the changes of facial expression by continuing the facial exercises, the participants’ facial expressions were analyzed using the facial expression analysis software FaceReader8 (Noldus Co. Ltd). Participants were instructed to take a picture of their smile before the experiment, on the seventh day of the experiment, and after the experiment. The values of “Happy” calculated from their facial expressions were obtained by analyzing the pictures with FaceReader. The scores in sociality, a factor of the mental toughness scale, increased significantly after the experiment. In addition, the scores of will power and positive degrees showed a marginally significant increase after the experiment. For the other three scales, there was no significant increase in scores. According to the analysis with FaceReader, 8 out of 13 participants showed an increase in their values of “Happy” after the experiment, suggesting that the facial exercise improved their smiles. Therefore, the results suggest that facial exercises are effective in encouraging mental toughness and improving smiling. Based on these findings, facial exercises can be applied to prevent facial muscle weakness caused by masks and activate the brain through facial muscle activity, and they may also be used as a method of mental support.

Keywords

  • Facial exercise
  • FaceReader
  • Mental toughness

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Correspondence to Marin Moriya .

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Moriya, M., Sugahara, T., Kato, C., Aoki, K. (2022). Psychological Effects of Facial Exercises. In: Hunt, T., Tan, L.M. (eds) Applied Psychology Readings. SCAP 2021. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-5086-5_6

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