• B. Christian

How expressive are you?

The human face is capable of conveying a broad spectrum of emotions. A simple google search for "how many facial expressions are there, brings up a couple of different answers.

For years the thought of there being six basic expressions was widely accepted, recently however a seventh expression has been added and they refer to these as micro-expressions.

The 7 Microexpressions



1) Surprise:

  • The eyebrows are raised and curved skin below the brow is stretched horizontal wrinkles across the forehead

  • Eyelids are opened, white of the eye showing above and below jaw drops open and teeth are parted but there is no tension or stretching of the mouth



2) Fear:

  • Eyebrows are raised and drawn together, usually in a flat line, wrinkles in the forehead are in the center between the eyebrows, not across upper eyelid is raised, but the lower lid is tense and drawn up

  • Eyes have the upper white showing, but not the lower white mouth is open and lips are slightly tensed or stretched and drawn back



3) Disgust:

  • Upper eyelid is raised

  • Lower lip is raised

  • Nose is wrinkled

  • Cheeks are raised

  • Lines show below the lower eyelid

  • This is the expression you make when you smell something bad.



4) Anger:

  • The eyebrows are lowered and drawn together

  • Vertical lines appear between the eyebrows

  • Lower lid is tensed

  • Eyes are in hard stare or bulging

  • Lips can be pressed firmly together, with corners down, or in a square shape as if shouting

  • Nostrils may be dilated

  • The lower jaw juts out



5) Happiness:

  • Corners of the lips are drawn back and up

  • Mouth may or may not be parted, teeth exposed

  • A wrinkle runs from outer nose to outer lip

  • Cheeks are raised

  • Lower eyelid may show wrinkles or be tense

  • Crow’s feet near the outside of the eyes



6) Sadness:

  • Inner corners of the eyebrows are drawn in and then up

  • Skin below the eyebrows is triangulated, with inner corner up

  • Corner of the lips are drawn down

  • Jaw comes up

  • Lower lip pouts out



7) Contempt / Hate:

  • One side of the mouth is raised



Facial expressions are vital to social communication between humans. They are caused by the movement of muscles that connect to the skin and fascia in the face. These muscles move the skin, creating lines and folds and causing the movement of facial features, such as the mouth and eyebrows.


These muscles are broken down into three subcategories; orbital, nasal, and oral.


Orbital

The orbital group of facial muscles contains two muscles associated with the eye socket. These muscles control the movements of the eyelids, important in protecting the cornea from damage.



Nasal

The nasal group of facial muscles is associated with movements of the nose, and the skin around it. There are three muscles in this group; Nasalis, Procerus, and Depressor Septi Nasi.

Oral

These are the most important group of the facial expressors – they are responsible for movements of the mouth and lips. Such movements are required in singing and whistling and add emphasis to vocal communication. The oral group of muscles consists of the orbicularis oris, buccinator, and various smaller muscles.

All the muscles in our face work in harmony to help us communicate without speaking. Have you been noticing some soreness or more frequent headaches? You may be overworking one of the many facial muscles.



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© 2019 by Breya Christian. Proudly created with Wix.com

Leah  Buckbee

CMA, LMT, MMA

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