Happiness is a positive emotion and one most of us seek to experience more often, and is used to shape many of our less important daily choices as well as help us with our bigger lifelong choices. Ekman & Friesen (2003) distinguishes happiness into four main states: pleasure, excitement, relief, and the last one is your self-concept (Ekman & Friesen, 2003).
Genuine smiles – the universal sign of happiness – are expressed with a Duchenne smile. This is expressed on the face by the combined contraction of the zygomaticus major muscle (which is the voluntary part of a smile and is also engaged when saying “cheese” or clenching a pen in one’s teeth), and the orbicularis oculi – the cheek raiser (which raises the cheeks and creates or increases crows feet).
Tip: Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body (similar to that of morphine), acts as analgesics (which diminishes the perception of pain) and can act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. This is how exercise can make you feel happy.