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50-Year Research Proves Smiling Can Make People Happier

You might've thought that "turn that frown upside down" was just something annoying people say, but it turns out there might be some truth in it. According to Good News Network, a new study has taken 50 years' worth of data and proved that smiling really does make you happier, even if you're feeling down.

Co-authored by Heather Lench at Texas A&M University and researchers at the University of Tennesse, the study focuses on the link between emotions and what our bodies do. Nicholas Coles, the lead author of the study, explained the findings go against what psychologists previously thought for almost a century. In fact, a 2016 experiment ruled in favor of psychologists, after 17 teams of researchers found that smiling didn't seem to have any effect on mood.

This latest round of research looks at things in a much broader sense though, taking 138 studies involving 11,000 worldwide participants and combining the data to get results. The findings were positive, as the team found that there was a positive impact in mood after all. Although, the team is quick to point out that smiling won't solve everything.

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It still seems unlikely that humans can smile and feel instantly better and like they don't have a care in the world. The researchers are more focused on the link between what goes on in our brains and how our physical selves can change or accentuate moods with our actions. While there's still a long way to go, the study has laid a great foundation for further experiments to be done.

Patients suffering from anxiety or mental health issues are often advised to use relaxation methods which require psychical activities. Exercise, yoga, pilates and other low-impact sports have all proven to be beneficial to some people who struggle with keeping on an even keel. Some life coaches, including Gina Ryan of the Anxiety Coaches Podcast, actively encourage clients to smile when they're having periods of unrest as it can kick-start the parasympathetic nervous system.

Next time you're feeling a little blue, why not try it out and see what it can do for you? It's worth a shot.

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