Does he grind his teeth? Look angry or anxious all the time?
The treatment that relaxes these facial expressions can also reduce the emotion behind them. Imagine giving the gift of relief from stress, depression or irritability.
The theory is that when we no longer look angry or stressed, people respond to us more positively and we feel better. The observations of one of my clients supports this idea. Martha told me that after she had Botox, strangers found her more approachable, and would, for instance, ask her for directions or strike up a conversation.
I think there is also a component of internal feedback. When you no longer have the aching jaws from tooth-grinding or an aching forehead from frowning, you feel more relaxed.
But whatever the exact mechanism for the effect, improved mood has been observed in a number of different studies and settings.
“The Botox patients scored much lower on measures of depression, anxiety and irritability,” explains Michael Lewis, a psychology professor at the University of Cardiff and lead author of the study. “Crucially, there was no significant difference in how much their treatment made them feel attractive from those who had other treatments, suggesting that[the mood boost] wasn’t just down to a boost in self-confidence.”
Reduction of teeth-grinding (bruxism) is particularly beneficial.
“And it’s not just relief from jaw pain, tension and headaches, that our patients experience. Some are also noticing a dramatic change in the appearance of their lower face. The square, severe look softened into a more normal and aesthetically pleasing jaw line.
“Some patients have also reported a marked reduction in their general stress level as their grinding gradually comes to a halt. Breaking the habit of Bruxism allows patients to relax and enjoy life.”
Maybe you can buy happiness after all.