Welcome to traffic. I mean, it is just so stressful. The good news is
I know a stress expert, AXA supported researcher
Enzo Tagliazucchi. – Hey, Enzo.
– Hey, Greg. Any anti-stress tips, please? – You need to sleep better.
– Sleep? You might be suffering
from primary insomnia disorder. Lack of sleep affects
our physical and mental health. It increases the risk of conditions
like heart disease, diabetes, cancer,
dementia, and stress, and smile more too. Smile? You should get in touch with stress researcher
Sarah Pressman. I think she might be able to help. Okay, I’ll go see Sarah.
Cheers, mate. Bye. Good luck, Greg. I’m here at the University of Irvine
in California to chat to AXA supported researcher
Dr Sarah Pressman to find out how smiling
could reduce my stress. Sarah, how can smiling
make me feel healthier? In this study, what we wanted to do
is look at whether or not people who smiled more
were behaving in a different way. What we did is
we got their student ID photos, and we categorised them into
whether or not they were smiling. Then we looked at,
over the past year, what was their health behaviour like. People who smile more might be more likely to get
preventative healthcare visits, they might take care
of themselves better as opposed to maybe
only going to the doctor when they’re feeling sick. I get if you’re a smiler, maybe
a more positive mental attitude but even the fake smilers
have benefits as well? Right,
that’s really a degree of smile. So even if you’re fake smiling, it’s still sending a message
to your brain that’s going to have some
of the same physiological benefits. What’s the difference between
a real smile and a fake smile? When you’re smiling, you get those nice little wrinkles
around your eyes. When you’re fake smiling,
the only thing that happens is this. Let me check
I’m getting this right. If you genuinely smile
or even if you fake smile, the act of smiling can lead your brain to produce
more of the happy hormones. Right, some of them might be things
like anti-stress hormones, like cortisol or catecholamines. What those can do is have a real benefit
on your immune system function. It could help your
cardiovascular system stay healthier or even possibly
pain altering effects, making things that are painful
hurt less. That’s a really big thing to say that someone
who’s suffering from acute pain can help themselves out
by just smiling whether that’s real or fake? Right. I want to put Sarah’s research
into practice. Okay. How stressed are you feeling today?
So if 10 is like really stressed… Very, 10, 11. You’re maxed out. – Five.
– Going six. – Six.
– Eight. – Mega stressed.
– Yes. Oh, my god! That’s so cute, a dog. Oh, a little dog and it winked. – How’s that making you feel?
– Happy. I’m like at a zero now. Research says
that if you smile, it can make you less stressed
and healthier. – Smile.
– You’re always smiling. Next time
a photographer tells you to smile, give it a go. AXA Research Fund Supporting research to make people’s lives
healthier and safer