I dati di una ricerca dell'università del Kansas

Sorridere abbassa il livello di stress

di oggisalute | 2 agosto 2012 | pubblicato in Ricerca

Se ci si sente bene si sorride, ma può valere anche l’affermazione contraria. Lo afferma uno studio pubblicato su Psychological Science, secondo cui il sorriso può effettivamente ridurre lo stress. “I vecchi proverbi hanno da sempre suggerito che il sorriso può non essere soltanto un indicatore non verbale di felicità, ma promuovere anche un sollievo dagli eventi stressanti – spiega Tara Kraft dell’università del Kansas – volevamo studiare se nella saggezza popolare si nascondesse un fondo di verità, misurando se il sorriso porta benefici per la salute”.

Per l’esperimento sono stati reclutati 169 studenti, che sono stati addestrati a mantenere involontariamente tre diverse espressioni facciali, un sorriso, un’espressione neutra e un sorriso ancora più largo, con degli apparecchi applicati al volto. Solo a metà del gruppo che aveva l’espressione ‘forzata’ sorridente era detto anche di sorridere spontaneamente.

Con l’apparecchio sul volto ai soggetti sono stati fatti svolgere compiti stressanti, come immergere la mano nel ghiaccio o usare la mano non dominante nel seguire il percorso di un punto luminoso. Durante i testi sono stati misurati i battiti cardiaci ed è stato chiesto di stimare il livello di stress personale: “I partecipanti ‘sorridenti’, soprattutto quelli con il sorriso più largo, avevano un ritmo cardiaco più lento – spiega l’esperta – ma i benefici, anche se minori, si sono visti anche in chi era forzato a sorridere solo dall’apparecchio”.


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