Pretending Happiness sounds crazy but it can make a difference.

Here’s an interesting expression: “Fake It ‘Till You Make It.”  You usually hear it in the business and show business world. The idea is that if you look like a success, others around you will treat you like a successful person and will send more projects and opportunities your way. You’ll get more and more experience and will actually become more … successful.

I actually would prefer to say ‘Pretend until you achieve it.’ The idea is that at some point you can stop ‘pretending’ because you’ve become what you’ve pretended to be. It sounds a little harsher than it is. Pretending in this context isn’t as phony as it sounds. What you are really doing is modeling behaviors until you’ve internalized them. Once that happens, you will start to see results, because you’ve been working hard at exactly the types of things a successful happier person does. It only makes sense  that you will begin to see these desired changes.

The interesting thing is that this works in different contexts. If you want to be a fitter and thinner person, start acting like one, eating the things you see fitter people eat, working out, moving around more, etc. You get the idea. Within a few months of doing this, you’ll begin to see desirable results in your body.

The good news is that modeling happier behaviors works as well.. You really can pretend happiness until your mood improves.

How To Begin Pretending Happiness

Pretending happiness is a lot easier than you may think. You can start with something as simple as smiling. A pretend smile will do in a pinch, but if you can get your entire face, including your eyes involved it really helps. Give smiling your best effort, even if you aren’t feeling it.

After a period of smiling, you should feel your mood start to increase. Remind yourself throughout the day to smile more for best results. When you’re ready to kick it up a notch, give laughing a try. Even if there’s nothing funny going on, just start giggling and laughing. Thinking about something humorous will help you with this. It has a profound impact on the body. Not only will it instantly lift your bad mood and make you feel happier, laughing has also been shown to increase your body’s ability to heal and it will improve your immune system. There are many health benefits to smiling and laughing. We talk about these in our article Smile — It does more than make you more attractive.

Give it a try and start practicing pretending happiness. You can smile and laugh at yourself in front of the bathroom mirror in the mornings. Then make an effort to smile more and laugh often as you go about your day. Not only will you notice your own happiness levels increase, you’ll also make a difference in the people around you.