Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

SmallerAfter all the bad news of the day, did you find yourself smiling at the birth of the royal baby?

If you did, you were engaging in stress relief!

Stuck in traffic, SMILE!

Someone cuts in line at a sporting event, SMILE!

Your co-worker beats you to a deadline, SMILE!

Your husband forgets to pick up the dry cleaning, SMILE!

Smiling may be one way you can control stress and the impact it has on your body. The “grin and bear it” approach to life may actually be prescriptive.

A study published in Psychological Science (2012) found that smiling, even when you don’t feel like it could be beneficial to your health.

Researchers at the University of Kansas looked at the connection between smiling and recovering from stress. Since other studies have concluded that smiling affects emotions in a positive way, these researchers wanted to see the impact of smiling on stress.

In the study, even people who were forced to smile reduced their physical bodies stress response.  They didn’t have to feel happy, just smile! So forget the medications, that extra drink to relax you or that unhealthy way to cope with stress, put on a happy face. Smiling not only signals happiness to others, but relieves stress in your life.

So one more time, let’s put a big smile on our faces and thank William and Kate for giving us a few moments of stress relief!

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