University of Hertfordshire reveals that smiling more makes you happier

A STUDY undertaken at the University of Hertfordshire has revealed that if we recall happy moments that happened from the day before, then we will become happier people. A professor at the College Lane uni who took on the gloom and doom

A STUDY undertaken at the University of Hertfordshire has revealed that if we recall happy moments that happened from the day before, then we will become happier people.

A professor at the College Lane uni who took on the gloom and doom of the credit crunch aiming to make people more cheerful has concluded that expressing gratitude and smiling will also make you a more content person.

However, the results of professor Richard Wiseman's online experiment showed that

carrying out an act of kindness will actually make you more depressed.


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More than 26,000 people took part in the online study.

In one part of the tests, participants were randomly assigned to one of five groups. People in each group watched a video describing one of four techniques commonly used to boost happiness - expressing gratitude, smiling, recalling a pleasant event from the day before and carrying out an act of kindness.

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Those in the fifth group carried out a 'control' technique that involved thinking about the day before.

Everyone was asked to carry out the technique during each day of the study and report any changes in their happiness.

The results showed that by smiling happiness increased by six per cent, by showing gratitude it increased by eight per cent and by re-living happy memories happiness increased by 15 per cent.

However acts of kindness decreased happiness by nine per cent.

Given that people 'catch' the emotions of those around them, the researchers hoped that their increased happiness might help cheer up the nation.

In an informal test of this idea, they commissioned a national survey both before and after the study, asking a representative sample of around 2000 people to rate how cheerful they felt. The results revealed a seven per cent increase in cheerfulness.

Prof Wiseman said: "Obviously, it is impossible to say if this rise is due to the study.

"After all, it might be caused by many different factors, including world events or changes in the weather.

"However, we like to think that we played some role in helping put a smile on the nation's face.

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