The 9 Physical Signs of Happiness | A Complete Guide with Photos and Illustrations

Have you ever wonder what happiness looks like? Being happy is an emotion that all of us have experienced at some point in our lives. Happiness can be seen when we achieve something important or feel a sense of gratitude for the things we have. Knowing physical signs of happiness also helps in improving our relationship with others since it can build empathy. But what are these signs?

Happiness is expressed physically when a person show signs of joy such as a smiling lips with the characteristic wide and diagonally raised smile, and a smiling eyes with the characteristic lowered eyebrows, eyelids, and crow’s feet wrinkles. Happiness can also be expressed to others physically by giving hugs or other positive actions.

In this blog post, I am going to share some of the physical signs of happiness. These are the signs you can look for in case you’re learning how to detect if a person is happy. Furthermore, I included a lot of photos to make this guide illustrative.

Physical Sign of Happiness: Eyes and Lips
A Smile showing its characteristic eyes and lips (See Arrows)

1. Lips Smiling

The most common physical sign of a happy person is their smile.

It is the universal symbol of happiness. All people, no matter where they’re born, tend to associate happiness with smiling.

That’s why wherever you go, people associate a smiling emoji with a happy emoji.

The only problem here is that people can easily fake smiling with their lips.

That’s why there are other physical signs of happiness that we can look for to check if a person is happy or not.

2. Eyes Smiling

The other part of the body can smile in the eyes.

A truly happy person would always smile with their eyes.

The good thing here is that it is hard to make the eyes smile if a person is sad.

That’s why if you’re looking for a good sign to look for when figuring out if someone is happy, you can check the eyes.

The good news is that the eyes can give numerous signs when smiling, and I will introduce you to each of them in the next section.

Smiling Eyes: Look at the lowered eyebrows, lowered eyelids, and the characteristic crow’s feet.

3. Lowered Eyebrows

The first sign of smiling eyes is the lowered eyebrows.

When a person smiles, it is normal to have their eyebrows lower since there are muscles around the eyes that control the location of the eyebrows.

The lowered eyebrows here mean that the eyebrows look like it is stretch downwards.

The amount of stretch varies from person to person, but a perfect example of the lowered eyebrows is the picture illustrated above.

4. Lowered Eyelids

Furthermore, a happy person would usually have their eyelids lower.

This is also because of the facial muscles around the eyes, which causes the person to lower their eyelids.

It is common to see people who smile squint their eyes which we’ll discuss in the next section.

5. Squinting Eyes

If you check the photo below, you can see that smiles tend to have a characteristic squinting eye motion.

This is because squinting eyes is the product of the lowered eyebrows and eyelids when smiling.

If a person combines both of those, it is easy to see these squinting eyes.

Furthermore, squinting eyes also lead to another physical sign of happiness which is the crow’s feet.

We will discuss crow’s feet in the next section.

The Characteristic Crow’s Feet when smiling (See Arrow)

6. Crow’s Feet Wrinkles

Due to numerous facial muscles contracting when we smile, some people show a characteristic Crow’s feet.

Crow’s feet are a series of lines we would see at the sides of the eyes of a smiling person.

This is also a sign that a person is smiling with their eyes.

If you check the picture, these crow’s feet are wrinkles that suddenly form when a person is happy.

The good thing here is that it is hard to fake crow’s feet when smiling, so if you happen to see this sign, it is more likely that the person you’re looking at is delighted.

A smirk. While it doesn’t show a symmetrical smile, a smirking person can start to smile when they’re truly happy.

7. Side of Lips Symmetrical Along With Smile

When a person smiles symmetrically, it means nothing is preventing a person from smiling.

Symmetrical means uniform. What I mean is that the left and the right side of the lips are about the same distance.

Of course, the sides of the lips are not perfectly symmetrical, even if a person is really happy.

But you can quickly notice the symmetry, especially if you compare it with a person who frowns.

However, smirks are an exception.

While an extremely happy person would always smile, a smirk is a type of half-smile.

People who smirk are also generally happy, or it is a sign that they’re having a little fun.

But if you look closer, when a smirking person suddenly had so much fun, they also start to smile, which becomes symmetrical.

So my point here is that smirking can be a physical sign of happiness, but smirks become smiles when the person is truly happy.

An awkward smile: look at the eyes not smiling and the cheeks not raised (see Arrow)

8. Raised Cheeks

An obvious physical sign of happiness is when a person smiles with a raised cheeks.

Raised cheeks mean that they are using almost all the muscles related to smiling.

In fact, it requires ten muscles to smile with just the lips, which is apparent when someone is raising their cheeks.

A person who is not smiling will usually use six facial muscles compared to ten if the person is actually smiling.

Overall, if you include all facial muscles, about 43 muscles need to move to make a person smile.

These 43 muscles include the ten muscles in the lips and the other muscles needed to make the eyes smile, which are the physical signs that we’ve been discussing.

It is hard to raise the cheeks when faking a smile. However, it can be done by imagining happy thoughts.

In argument, when a person is thinking of happy thoughts, doesn’t that make them already happy?

9. Showing of Teeth

Showing of teeth is perhaps the oldest sign of happiness.

Other species, such as apes, also smile by showing their teeth.

Showing of teeth is one of the physical signs of happiness that is common among us.

However, not all people who smile show their teeth. Sometimes, people can smile without showing it.

However, extremely happy people tend always to show their teeth when they smile.

But showing teeth alone is not enough. People usually fake their smiles by showing their teeth so it is important to check for the other signs, such as their eyes.

People who usually fake their smiles can’t fake it with their eyes simply because making the eyes smile like the characteristic crow’s feet is close to being involuntary.

What’s Next? How about learning the relationship between money and happiness? In my other blog post, I’ve discussed the multiple scientific research talking about the relationship between money, income, salary, and happiness. You can find the blog post here: What Salary Makes a Person Happy?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of happiness? The signs of happiness are feeling satisfaction in one’s life and living life with integrity. Furthermore, it can also be having a more positive outlook in life, expressing gratitude to everything including small things, enjoying harmonious relationships, not being fed up with the past mistakes, enjoying the present moment, and looking forward to the future.

What is a symbol of happiness? The universal symbol of happiness is smile because all people tend to associate happiness with smile. Furthermore, there are other symbols of happiness known across the globe such as the Bluebird which is a symbol of happiness in China and Russia, the Dharma Chakra which is a symbol of happiness in Buddhism, and Rose which is a symbol of happiness in Native America.

What is physical happiness? Physical happiness is that happiness you get from material objects such as when you buy an item you want, or eat something you like. Furthermore, physical happiness can also mean the happiness you get from your wellbeing such as acts of gratitude, belongingness. and life satisfaction.

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Okay, let me first explain my Channel.

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Recommended Books

The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.

Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.

  1. For Beginners7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
  2. ProductivityThe One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
  3. Busy?Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
  4. HealthLifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
  5. FinanceThe Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.


Take this advice as a grain of salt.

I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.

So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.

My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.

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