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Smiling Through Hard Times Not So Good for You, Say Researchers

Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:05:27 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(HONG KONG) -- The old saying “Smile and the world smiles with you” may have some kernel of truth to it but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

University of Hong Kong researchers say there’s nothing wrong with smiling when one feels genuinely happy. However, smiling all the time even through hardships might not be the best strategy.

Marketing professor Anirban Mukhopadhyay and his team conducted a series of experiments to test this theory, which included asking participants how often they smile and whether people forced themselves to smile. Researchers also asked participants about their own level of life satisfaction.

The results show that those who smile frequently because they're actually happy felt much better than people who did not ordinarily smile often but forced themselves to do so anyway.

Mukhopadhyay says the bottom line is that it may be best for certain people not to smile until they resolve whatever it is that’s bothering them, otherwise it could “make them feel worse, because they may interpret smiling as trying to become happy.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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