Smiling when you’re stressed isn’t faking it, it turns out. In a new study, participants who smiled during a stressful task had lower heart rates afterward than participants who didn’t.

Most Americans experience unhealthy stress levels in daily life. Chronic stress can wear on your body and mind—and impact your skin and hair. To genuinely dial down your stress, it helps to sleep, practice techniques like meditation and eat well—but throwing on a smile in a moment of panic is a good place to start.