(Kansas City, KS) -- A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas has found that smiling may just reduce your levels of stress. Research psychologists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman headed the study.
169 university students were asked to participate in tasks known to induce stress, such as attempting to draw a star with their non-dominant hand, while looking at the reflection in the mirror, and another task included dipping your hand in ice-cold water.
The students were asked to perform these conditions under three variables: not smiling, smiling, and then a forced smile by sticking chopsticks in between their teeth. The chopstick method was used to see if an “induced” smile had any difference than a genuine one.
Heart rate measurements and self-reports were used to gauge the stress levels of the participants. It was found that those who induced any type of smile were found to be less stressed during the tasks, while stress levels were higher during a non-smiling period. Smiling without the chopsticks was found to have the lowest case of stress in participants.
The lead researchers suggest that this study may prove that when you are in any stressful situation, simply smiling may lower stress levels, and may help your heart health as well.
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