A Fake Smile Can be Bad for Your Health

New research suggests that putting on a fake smile to mask your unhappiness or displeasure may have unexpected consequences.  It can actually worsen your mood and cause you to withdraw from tasks.

Scientists examined what happened when people engaged in fake smiling, an activity also known as “surface acting.”  They also examined what happened when the same people engaged in “deep acting,” a genuine smile.  On days when smiles were forced, the participants’ moods got worse and they tended to withdraw from work.

The New York Times reports:

“Trying to suppress negative thoughts, it turns out, may have made those thoughts even more persistent ... Women were affected more than men.”

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