3 Times When It's OK to Fake a Smile


In my new book SNAP I talk about the benefits of smiling. This article suggests the reasons
you might want to fake a smile.
3 Times When It's OK to Fake a Smile 
Don't worry, we won't tell.



By Mandy Oaklander in prevention magazine


It's easy to smile when your husband cooks you dinner for the first time in a year, or your puppy wakes you up from a siesta looking especially fetching. But what about those moments when you least want to put on a happy face?

Decades of research, including one brand-new study, show that smiling does a body all kinds of good, but even more interesting: You don't actually have to mean it. Check out the 3 best times to fake a smile.

Stress

1. When You're Stressed

Even when your heart's not in it, smiling lowers your heart rate and mitigates stress, found a new University of Kansas study to be published in Psychological Science.

Researchers taught volunteers how to arrange their faces in a variety of ways: With genuine smiles, fake smiles, neutral expressions, and with chopsticks propping their mouths open into forced grins. Then, the participants performed a series of stressful tasks—like plunging a hand into a bucket of ice water—all while maintaining their assigned facial expression. Those who smiled in any manner, even when it was fake or forced by chopsticks, had lower heart rates than those with neutral expressions.

In other words, smiling during stress helps lower the body's stress response, regardless of how happy you actually feel.

2. When You're Bummed

Smiling isn't just good stress relief; it can actually make you happier—especially if you have Botox. A 2009 experiment at the University of Cardiff in Wales gave two groups of women—one with Botox injections, one without—a questionnaire about their depression and anxiety. Those with Botox (who physically couldn't frown) were significantly happier with lower anxiety and depression than the other group, who did not have Botox and could frown. Importantly, the Botox group didn't report feeling any more attractive, so an increase in attractiveness couldn't account for the happiness gap.

Though Botox does seem to lift more than your lines, we're not necessarily advocating a massive Botox spree. Giving a good, old-fashioned fake grin has the same effect, smile lines and all.

3. When You've Been Naughty

Uh. Oh. Your husband caught you red-handed buying another pair of shoes from your already-stretched joint bank account, without discussing it first. What's the first thing you should do when you're busted? Crack a smile.

In a 1995 study, Boston College researchers found that when transgressors smile, their punishers tend to be more lenient. Subjects were shown photos of people who were potentially guilty of an academic violation. Smiling targets were punished less leniently, even though they weren't seen as less guilty. It didn't matter whether the smile was genuine or fake: Targets who smiled were perceived as more trustworthy. 


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Patti's Radio Media Schedule

Below is a list of radio stations that have interviewed me or will interview me in the future about the presidential candidates, body language and my new book, SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma. 

Wed. Oct 10                                      

KMSU 89.7, live radio phoner, Mankato, Minnesota

Fri., Oct 12                                        

WLTW 106.7 FM, taped radio phoner, NYC #1
 
Mon., Oct 15, 2012                           

KGGN 890 AM, live radio phoner, Kansas City, all MO
 
Tues., Oct. 16, 2012                          

KGO 810 AM “KGO Morning News”, live radio phoner, San Fran market, # 5, all-news radio station
 
Fri., Oct 19, 2012                              

WCXZ 740 AM "Tom Amis Show", live radio phoner,   Knoxville and almost all of KY

Fri., Oct 19, 2012                              

WHO 1040 AM, live radio phoner, all MIDWEST, #72 market

Fri., Oct 19, 2012                              

KGO 810 AM “The Costa Report”, taped radio phoner  national #5, BIG SHOW

Sun., Oct 21, 2012                          

 KMOX 1120 AM "Total Information AM", live radio  phoner -  BIG SHOW: station is heard in 44 states and throughout much of Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean; nb. 17 Morning show

Wed., Oct. 24, 2012

WRVC 930 AM "View Point", live radio phoner; OH, KY, WV

Wed., Oct 24, 2012

KLPW, “Life Style Matters”, taped radio phoner, MO #21

Mon., Oct 29

KOA, live radio phoner, Denver, regional radio

“The Mike Rosen Show” – reaches 38 states – THIS IS HUGE!

Mon., Oct. 29

KISW 103.7FM “Conversations”, taped radio phoner, national

"Conversations" airs on 4 stations and 4 HD-2 stations

Tues., Oct. 30, 2012

WICN 90.5 FM, taped radio phoner, New England states - 100,000 listeners

Thurs., Nov. 1

BEYOND 50, live radio phoner, national

Thurs., Nov. 1

WSGE 91.7 FM, “Roundtable Sunday Edition”, College, Charlotte, NC area, taped radio phoner (for Roundtable Sunday Edition)
Thurs. Nov. 1                                    

KJFK 1230 AM "Get Real America", taped radio phoner, Las Vegas, Nevada + Internet

Mon., Nov. 5, 2012

WDIS 1170 AM "Talk of the Town", taped radio phoner, Coverage area 500,000 (Boston and south Massachusetts)
Mon., Nov. 5, 2012

A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups.”, taped radio phoner, national, heard on more than 50 stations across America including New York City + internet

Mon., Nov. 5

WUMR 91.7 FM "Spotlight 92", taped radio phoner - Approx. 40,000 listeners

Thurs., Nov. 8, 2012

KKNW 1150 AM "The Dr. Pat Show" (show on Voice America Network), live radio phoner, NATIONAL!!!
Thurs., Nov 8                                    

KAHI 950 AM "Pop-Off", live radio phoner, Auburn, CA area

Thurs., Nov. 15, 2012

KKNW 1150 AM "Conscious Talk", live radio phoner, Seattle area and parts of Idaho + Internet
Thurs., Nov. 15

WMGC 105.1 FM  "Remarkable Women", taped radio phoner,  regional: five Michigan markets – including Detroit
Tues., Nov. 20, 2012

Blog Talk Radio "Positively Incorrect", live radio phoner, 400,000 listeners

Thurs., Dec. 20, 2012

WLRN Radio, “Topical Currents”, live radio phoner, South Florida’s NPR News Stations

 
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.