Never underestimate the power of a smile. Whether it is genuine or imitated, producing a smile recruits muscles around the mouth, cheeks, and eyes, which tells the brain the body is experiencing happy and positive emotions. Research on this phenomenon revealed participants who replicated a genuine smile were “less stressed and showed faster physiological recovery from stressful tasks” compared to those faking smiles or not smiling at all. This approach of activating smiling muscles to reduce stress can be broadened to the whole body by drawing awareness to the body’s response to stress. This can be done by consciously scanning physical feelings from head to toe, tensing and then releasing all muscles, or mindful breathing. So go ahead…activate those happy muscles in your face to experience a boost in positivity during stressful situations or when you need a pick-me-up!