This is the fourth post of our 7 Days of Smiling series. In this post, we’ll show you how smiling can actually reduce stress.
In 2012, researchers studied the effect of manipulating facial expressions on the response to stress. What they found was surprising.
In total, 170 participants were made to hold chopsticks in their mouth in a manner that produced varying types of smiles. Some were made to hold a Duchenne smile, others a standard smile, and the rest a neutral expression. While holding these facial expressions, their heart rate was monitored as they performed stressful tasks.
The findings revealed that all participants that were smiling had reduced heart rates – regardless of if they were aware that they were smiling. Simply the act of smiling, intentionally or not, can help us manage stress better.
The adage of “grin and bear it” may have a lot of wisdom behind it!
While science can continue to show us the psychological and physiological evidence that smiling can help reduce stress, the best proof is to try this yourself.
The next time you find yourself getting stressed around your excited children or overwhelmed at work, remember to smile and be mindful of the effect it has on your body.
If you have any other tips or tricks to managing your stress, please contact us and let us know.
Be proud of your smile!
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