Study: Forcing a smile at work linked with more drinking after hours

A new study finds that people who force themselves to smile at work or hide feelings of annoyance may be at risk for drinking more after hours.

The team of researchers at Penn State and the University at Buffalo studied the drinking habits of  1,592 people who work with the public, which included food service workers, nurses and teachers.

The researchers say people who regularly amplified positive emotions or resisted the urge to roll their eyes may drink heavier after work. 

"Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively," Alicia Grandey, professor of psychology at Penn State, said. "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 also said that smiling as part of your job sounds positive, but doing it all day can be draining. The results suggest that employers may want to reconsider "service with a smile" policies, according to Grandey.

The study was published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.