Health + Fitness

Fake smiles are bad for you

Smile today. But make sure you mean it.

The Academy of Management Journal did a recent study that said “forced smiles” causes sullen moods, and causes you to “withdraw from the tasks at hand.”

We do it all the time. We see somebody. We may not like them all that much but we say “Hi. How you doing?” And then we give them that fake smile.

I get fake smiles all the time from sales people in stores. You know they don’t want to wait on you. But they do anyway, and you get that fake smile and they tell you to have a nice day. I am convinced some of them actually want you to die because you disturbed their down time.

I have my Hollywood smile that I do as a joke. I never thought they were bad for you.

The Journal studies bus drivers because they interact a lot with people and often have to give what is called “surface acting.” The study showed that when drivers gave forced smiles they tried to suppress negative thoughts, but when you do that it makes those thoughts more persistent.

But when they gave genuine smiles their moods were better and they actually had a good day. So go ahead and smile today.

Just make sure it’s not fake.