Stress-Busting Smiles

The Wall Street Journal:

Smiling could be good for your health.

Researchers are finding that wearing a smile brings certain benefits, like slowing down the heart and reducing stress. This may even happen when people aren’t aware they are forming a smile, according to a recent study. The work follows research that established that the act of smiling can make you feel happier.

A study published in the journal Psychological Science in November found that people who smiled after engaging in stress-inducing tasks showed a greater reduction in heart rate than people who maintained a neutral facial expression. The study, which involved 170 participants, got people to smile unknowingly by making them hold a pair of chopsticks in three different ways in their mouth. One way forced people to maintain a neutral expression, another prompted a polite smile, and a third resulted in a full smile that uses the muscles around the mouth and the eyes.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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