Smile more, feel bet­ter

Santa Fe New Mexican - Healthy Living - - HEALTH NEWS - — CAROLYN PAT­TEN

Ev­ery smile makes you a day younger. ~Chi­nese proverb

In a re­cent study in the jour­nal Psy­chol­ogy and Aging, strangers guessed the ages of smil­ing and poker-faced sub­jects. Those with a grin con­sis­tently “looked younger.” The study noted that our brains seem to be hard­wired to look for and re­spond to smil­ing faces, even if we’re not aware of it. Study par­tic­i­pants re­mem­bered smil­ing faces later on, while those with flat ex­pres­sions faded from mem­ory.

A land­mark study by psy­chol­o­gist Robert Za­jonc in 1989 showed that even “fake” smiles im­proved mood, though tem­po­rar­ily, and fak­ing it till you make it can tip a neu­tral mood into pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory. More­over, a 2013 study at the Uni­ver­sity of Kansas found that smil­ing dur­ing a stress­ful event, such as mul­ti­task­ing or be­ing stuck in traf­fic, can lower stress lev­els, in­clud­ing blood pres­sure and heart rate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.