Feeling stressed? A simple smile may help

Feeling stressed? A simple smile may help

 

The summer can be a stressful time. Between going to work in the hot, sticky weather and having to figure out what to do with kids who are out of school and bored, a parent's fatigue can be at an all-time high during the warmer months. This is why individuals may want to take an organic detox supplement in the summer to help relieve the stress toxins may put on their body. Another thing people should do to reduce their anxiety is simply smile more often, according to a recent study.

Scientists from the University of Kansas set out to determine if the simple action of smiling can make a person feel better.

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

According to the researchers, there are two different types of smiles: standard and duchenne. While a standard smile utilizes only the muscles surrounding the mouth, an duchenne also engages the eye muscles. The scientists conducted a study to see how people would respond to stressful tasks while having a smile on their face versus keeping a neutral facial expression.

The researchers discovered that individuals who smiled – particularly those who held a duchenne smile – showed less signs of stress than those whose facial expressions remained neutral. According to the scientists, these findings suggest that the simple act of smiling during stressful moments may reduce the body's response to anxiety.