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Laughing or Grinning Can Reduce Pain Significantly


The COVID-19 vaccine is now in front of our eyes. This raises hope for overcoming this health problem as well as fear in those who do not like needles.

This fear of needles is something that many people experience. However, recent discoveries have found ways to reduce the pain of these needles.

Reporting from Medical Xpres, this research was conducted by the University of California, Irvine. It is known that a genuine smile or grin can reduce pain from needle injections by up to 40 percent.

“When experiencing stressful or pleasurable situations, humans can have similar facial expressions that involve activating eye muscles, lifting cheeks, and aligning teeth,” explains Sarah Pressman, UCI professor of psychology.

How Expression Can Reduce Pain

The study involved 231 people who reported pain, emotion, and distress from 25 injections such as those used in the flu vaccine. Participants randomly displayed several expressions when biting chopsticks.

Those who smiled and smirked reported experiencing only half the pain as those with a neutral expression. This explains that the expressions we make can also relieve pain.

The more sincere and wide our smile, it is known that our heart rate also slows down.

“Our results demonstrate an easy, inexpensive, and clinically meaningful method of making injections less painful,” said Pressman.

“Based on some of the anxiety and pain caused by medical practice, we hope that understanding how and why laughing and grinning can help as pain management strategies can lead to a better patient experience.”

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