Here's today's little gem:
"The heart rates of people who were recovering from the stress of tracing a star with their nondominant hands were 7% slowerif they gripped a pair of chopsticks in their teeth in such a way as to force themselves to smile, say Tara L. Kraft and Sarah D. Pressman of the University of Kansas.
While the researchers acknowledge that the generalizability of their findings is questionable given the artificiality of the setting, they say the study shows there are physiological and psychological benefits from maintaining a positive facial expression during stress."
Well that might be what the study shows. Or it might show that maintaining tension has an effect. Or that the taste of the wood/plastic/ivory of which the chopsticks were made has an effect. Or that being distracted by doing a stupid task has an effect. Or that the reaction of the people getting them to bite the chopsticks had an effect. Or anything.
But most of all I like the idea of the stress caused by tracing a star with one's nondominant hand. I like nondominant. I like tracing a star.
My friend had her handbag stolen at the weekend. Lost her phone, wallet, house keys, office keys, etc. She smiled, got it all fixed, navigated her way through the storm - all without chopsticks.
I'm continually fascinated by our desire to find clinical, 'scientific' evidence for things that are just obviously beyond the reach of clinical and scientific evidence. If we could find the evidence to justify training people to force themselves to smile and say 'Have a Nice Day', would the world be a better place?
Get your own bletheridge from Harvard here
Have a nice day.