Navigation Links
Smile! It Might Lower Your Stress Level, Study Shows

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Stressed out? Turn that frown upside down and you might just feel better, new research contends.

Researchers at the University of Kansas subjected college students to anxiety-inducing tasks and found that those who smiled through them appeared to have less stress.

The study, led by research psychologists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman, is scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

"Age-old adages, such as 'grin and bear it,' have suggested smiling to be not only an important nonverbal indicator of happiness but also wishfully promotes smiling as a panacea for life's stressful events," Kraft said in a journal news release. "We wanted to examine whether these adages had scientific merit; whether smiling could have real health-relevant benefits."

To do so, they had 169 university students engage in tasks known to induce stress, such as tracing a star using their non-dominant hand while looking at a reflection of the star in a mirror. Another task had the participants plunge their hand into icy water.

The students performed these tasks under three conditions: not smiling; being explicitly instructed to smile; and while holding chopsticks in their mouth in a way that forced the face to smile.

The researchers included the chopsticks condition because they wanted to gauge the effect of "genuine" smiling (which involves the muscles around the mouth and eyes), and so-called "standard" smiles, which involve only the muscles around the mouth -- the kind of smile induced by the chopsticks.

Kraft and Pressman used heart rate measurements and self-reported stress levels to assess how perturbed the participants were during the tasks.

The study found that participants who wore any kind of smile were less stressed during the tasks than those with neutral facial expressions, and stress levels dipped especially low for folks with "genuine" smiles.

According to the authors, this means that even forcing a smile during an unpleasant task or experience might actually lower your stress level, even if you're not feeling happy.

So, Pressman reasoned, "the next time you are stuck in traffic or are experiencing some other type of stress, you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment. Not only will it help you 'grin and bear it' psychologically, but it might actually help your heart health as well."

More information

There's more on managing stress at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-- E.J. Mundell

SOURCE: Psychological Science, news release, July 30, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Stool Test Might Aid in Early Detection of Colon Cancer
2. Depo-Provera Birth Control Might Raise Breast Cancer Risk
3. Brain Falters Near End of Life, but Games, Puzzles Might Slow Decline
4. Infection Might Raise Blood Clot Risk for Older Adults: Study
5. Anxiety Might Help People Sniff Out Threats
6. Lung Cancer Screening Might Pay Off, Analysis Shows
7. Mobile Stroke Units Might Trim Time to Treatment
8. Common Plastics Chemical Might Boost Diabetes Risk
9. Media Multitasking Might Have Mental Upside
10. Brain Surgery Might Ease Tough-to-Treat OCD
11. More Smog Might Mean More Hospitalizations
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Smile! It Might Lower Your Stress Level, Study Shows
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... The OSHA Training ... Institute Education Center headquartered in Northern California, has issued an important reminder to ... their worksites. Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with ... X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color ... users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, ... its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites ... Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, ... ... in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, ... system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of ... of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... One of Australia,s successful biotechnology scientists, Dr ... biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 123] ("Noxopharm"). Noxopharm ... on the ASX. Noxopharm is a clinic-ready company with ... 1 clinical study later this year. ... problems facing cancer patients - the ability of cancers to become ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), ... Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, ... agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab ... Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to build ... Company,s stock which is currently listed on the OTC ... Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an ... difficult to understand, not only by the Company, but ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: