Recent research done by psychologists at the University of Kansas reveals that even a "forced" or "fake" smile decreases stress significantly. Those in the study were provided with a chopstick and divided into two groups. One group was instructed to hold the chopstick in their mouth at the tip of their lips, like a cigarette. This created a facial scowl. The other group was instructed to place the chopstick horizontally between the teeth creating an unknowing smile. Additionally, both groups were asked to place a hand into ice cold liquid which incites the stress response in humans. Saliva samples were taken to measure the levels of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Those with a forced smile had significantly lower stress levels than did those whose facial feature was that of a scowl. Researchers concluded that when humans are in a stressful situation, their facial expression significantly affects stress levels they experience.
Victor M. Parachin ...is a
Vedic educator, yoga instructor, Buddhist meditation teacher and author of a dozen books. Buy his books at amazon or your local bookstore.