It is amazing what scientists are finding about the power of positive thinking... or at least a good smile.
According to Cool News, there are researchers who say that "wearing a smile" can slow down the heart and reduce stress. But to some, it has to be a full and genuine smile which can impact the body in positive ways. However other studies indicate that even a polite smile may be beneficial.
A study recently published in Psychological Science
"involved 170 participants," and induced them to "smile unknowingly by
making them hold a pair of chopsticks in three different ways in their
mouth. One way forced people to maintain a neutral expression, another
prompted a polite smile, and a third resulted in a full smile that uses
the muscles around the mouth and the eyes." The smilers had slower
heart rates and "faster physiological stress recovery," and the full
smilers "performed better than the polite-smile group," although "the
difference wasn't statistically significant."
Sarah Pressman, co-author of the study, explains: "We smile because we feel not threatened," and this signals safety to the brain. And research from UCLA's Brain Mapping Center find that simply seeing someone who is smiling triggers "mirror neurons" in the brain that "evoke a similar response as if they were smiling themselves."