A smile, even a fake one, can help reduce your stress levels.

You’re probably sitting there thinking ‘these people are crazy, how could smiling or fake smiling transform my life?’

It takes 43 muscles to frown, but only 17 to smile.

Well, in the most recent episode of the AXA Research files science presenter Greg Foot travelled to the University of Irvine in California to look at new research into whether people who smile more are healthier and happier than those who don’t smile so much. 

On his travels, Greg discovers that even if you’re faking or pretending to smile, the action still sends a message to the brain that will have some of the same physiological benefits as real smiling. Crazy, right?

How does that even work?

Researcher Sarah Pressman explains that smilers produce more of the ‘happy hormones’, scientifically known as anti-stress hormones such as cortisol and catecholamines.

Due to these wonderful hormones, happier people have a better immune system, cardiovascular system and a higher pain threshold, meaning that they can heal faster than those who are unhappy.

Sarah goes into further detail about her research and offers some tips on how to lead a happier life here: http://bit.ly/2FGLRSf

So, will smiling eliminate all my stress?

Unfortunately, no. Even though smiling has excellent benefits for your health, it cannot eliminate all your stress.

However, combining Sarah’s tips with a good night’s sleep could definitely help you manage your stress on a daily basis, making you much happier in the long-term and reduce your chances of developing serious health conditions.

To find out more about the importance of sleep and its impact on your health, watch here: http://bit.ly/2Djcz5m

For more insights from the AXA Research Fund, visit their webpage here: http://bit.ly/2BiaKAF