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Smile Your Way to Better Health

May 1st, 2018 Posted in Advice and Tips
WHEN you are a child you smile about 400 times a day but by the time you become an adult, it is down to a paltry 20 daily grins.

Not only is that a shame, it turns out that cracking a smile can work wonders for mind and body, too.

Jon Axworthy explains what turning that frown upside down can do for you.

  1. Makes you a Better Runner

Want to crush your personal best?

Then smile when it starts to hurt. Researchers at Ulster and Swansea universities found that club-level runners who smiled for six minutes while pounding the treadmill had a more economical running movement.

They also felt like they had made less effort.

  1. Sparks Creativity

If you are suffering a mental block, grin. A study found that students who watched a film that made them smile and laugh were then better at performing mental arithmetic tasks. It also concluded that happier workers were 12 per cent more productive.

  1. Cuts Stress

Even just forcing a smile, as 169 students were told to do in a University of Kansas study, is enough to lower heart rate, which is a clear indicator of the body’s stress response. They were asked to perform a difficult multi-tasking activity during which they had to smile to a greater or lesser extent. The group that beamed most reported the biggest drop in heart rate.

  1. Improves Decision-Making

In a study published in the journal Cognition And Emotion, older adults were made to smile by being given a bag of sweets and a thank you card when they arrived.

  1. Makes Others Trust You

It is thought humans evolved to smile to signal trust. This was backed up by US research, which found that people were more willing to share money with someone who smiled while trying to persuade them to do so. The study authors believe smiling narrows the field of vision and gives other people the impression that you are positively focused on them.

Adapted from:

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