When it comes to tough situations, “fake it ‘til you make it” might not be the best advice – but OK, sometimes.
University of Ottawa researchers found participants who kept a poker face, or smiled while seeing negative pictures, had zero effect on their self-reported mood, physiology, or memory. Ultimately, some emotion-regulating techniques worked better in specific situations than others.
First study author Nancy Bahl adds, “Researchers need to focus more on how people choose which strategies they use, in which types of situations. For example, it might cause problems in your relationship if you are frequently hiding your feelings from your partner; but it might also cause problems at your work if you never hide your feelings, even from your boss at an important meeting. No strategy is always helpful or harmful; instead, it is probably better to be flexible about which strategy you use, depending on the context.”
So, it depends on the situation. But research has shown that faking a smile will actually make you feel better, and it will become a real one.
See more, here: (EurekAlert!)