The Angry Face vs. The Happy Face

It is said that when you put up an angry face, you use much more facial muscles than when you have a happy face. But is it true? Is it really easier to smile than to growl?

Here's a side by side comparison. What muscles do you use?

Muscles used in an angry face

When you're angry, the following muscles are activated:

  • Eyebrow frowns - your eyebrows are pushed down in the middle, and pulled up at the sides.
  • Nose wrinkle - your nose is pushed up as your brows furrow.
  • Nostrils flare - your nostrils get wider and are pulled up.
  • Eyes wince - your eye muscles are pulled together, making your eyes feel tense.
  • Lip snarl - your upper lip is pulled up, showing your teeth.
  • Lip corners depressing - your lip corners are pulled down, to illustrate your dislike.
  • Jaw clinching - your jaw muscles tense up, making your teetch clinch and grind.

There are other muscles in play too, but these are the major ones. Which brings the total to 7 active muscle groups when you show your angry face.

Muscles used in a happy face

Now, let's compare that to the happy face...

  • Forehead relaxing - your forehead muscles relax, bringing your eyebrows up a little.
  • Eyes smile - the outer corners of your eyes begin to wrinkle as muscles push them together. Only when you really smile!
  • Lips smile - your lip corners are pulled up, showing your lovely smile! :-)

This brings the happy face to a total of 3 major muscle groups.

End score...

Angry 7 - Happy 3

Yes, it's really true... looking angry does use a lot more muscles than looking happy.

So, don't strain yourself. Make your life easier... smile more!


Back from Angry Face vs. Happy Face to Facial Expressions

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