Study reveals fake smiling at work makes you more likely to drink heavily
Everyone's had the odd off day at work - you mooch around, hoping that no-one notices that you're in an absolute mood - and if they do catch that something's adrift, you flash them your tried-and-true fake smile. Such is the life of a working person.
However, as it turns out, forcing positive emotions can actually do you more harm than good. A study conducted by Pennsylvania State University analysed the drinking habits of 1,592 service workers including nurses, teachers, and individuals who work in the food industry, and their findings were... interesting.
So if you're someone whose job requires you to interact with others, listen up.
Research found that forcing yourself to portray a false positive persona, can lead to emotional exhaustion, leading people in these fields to be more likely to consume higher quantities of alcohol compared to those who don't.
"Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively," said Alicia Grandey, the head professor of psychology at the institution. "It wasn't just feeling badly that makes them reach for a drink. Instead, the more they have to control negative emotions at work, the less they are able to control their alcohol intake after work."
Grandey went onto explain that previous studies had spotted a correlation between service workers and excessive alcohol consumption, but that up until now, no cause had been identified. She and her team believe that workers who are forced to suppress their true emotions, are more likely to drink more to unwind afterwards.
"Smiling as part of your job sounds like a really positive thing, but doing it all day can be draining," Grandey concluded. "In these jobs, there's also often money tied to showing positive emotions and holding back negative feelings. Money gives you a motivation to override your natural tendencies, but doing it all day can be wearing."
Well, how's that to brighten up your Friday night.