Has the summer made you feel happy? Let’s hope so but, if not, smiling is one of the most efficient ways to cheer yourself up as well as producing numerous health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and reduced levels of stress hormones. It is ‘evolutionarily contagious’ – when you smile people almost always smile back. In a German study where participants were asked to guess the age and attractiveness of people wearing various facial expressions, neutral faces were guessed most accurately, but happy smiling faces were considered better looking, and their ages were consistently underestimated by several years. Good news all round! Keep smiling! Sylvia Mountford.