Smile to get smart! Being in a good mood makes you more creative, finds new research from the University of California, San Francisco.
Scientists reviewed a collection of studies that all pointed to the pros of a positive mood. Happy men had a more holistic approach to problems than negative guys, meaning they were able to recognize innovative solutions others may have missed.
How come? Research suggests when you’re happy, you release more dopamine—a neurotransmitter linked with motivation—which increases your control over your mind. Happiness also boosts activity in areas of the brain that handle decision-making, learning, and processing.
Manipulate your mind—even if you’re down in the dumps—by recalling happy experiences or simply smiling. Research has shown that if you’re bummed out, faking a grin can trick your brain into feeling happier.