Don’t worry about the wrinkles that appear around your eyes when you smile. Chances are, having a happy expression will make you appear years younger than you actually are according to a German study published in the journal Psychology and Aging.
The researchers asked 154 men and women of varying ages to guess how old people in 1,000 photographs were. Each had a variety of expressions from angry and disgusted to sad and neutral and they were free of makeup or eyeglasses. While the study participants most often accurately estimated the age of the neutral faces, they shaved off years for those who were smiling and also perceived them to be more positive.
In another study, Swedish researchers found that people dealing with recurrent depression or chronic stress have a physical change at the cellular level that actually ages them. When faced with either of these problems, study participants had shorter telomeres, which are the protective ends of the chromosomes. As we age, these naturally shorten, but depression and serious stress age them prematurely. That’s enough to send us on a relaxing spa vacation, how about you?
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