A smile—even a fake one—reduces heart rate, blood pressure

Flashing a smile—even if it’s forced—tricks the brain into believing you’re happy, triggering a multitude of health benefits, according to an NBC report.

Smiling is much more than an expression to cosmetic dentist Sivan Finkel—it’s also a mechanism for lowering stress, boosting immune function and lowering your heart rate.

“Even forcing a fake smile can legitimately reduce stress and lower your heart rate,” Finkel told NBC. “A study performed by a group at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who could not frown due to botox injections were happier on average than those who could frown.”

Other studies have suggested smiling can also lower blood pressure in addition to other benefits, like possibly prolonging life.

Read the full story from NBC here: