The first Friday in October every year is designated World Smile Day, a holiday that was initiated by the inventor of the iconic yellow smiley face, commercial artist Harvey Ball. The Smile Foundation that was created in his memory strives to improve the world one smile at a time. Harvey Ball and the Smile Foundation know how important a single smile can be, but the many benefits of smiling may surprise you.
- Your smile can make you happy. Feeling happy can make you smile, but the reverse is true as well. Studies have shown that smiling, whether genuine or forced, can release endorphins that create an authentic feeling of happiness, so next time you’re upset or stressed, put a smile on your face and trick your brain into changing your mood!
- Your smile can make someone else happy. A smile is like a yawn – when you see one, you instinctively copy it, and the happiness circuits in your brain light up. The same goes for everyone else, so greet the world with a smile on your face and others will instinctively smile back, increasing happiness everywhere you go.
- Your smile can help you relax. When you smile, your brain releases chemicals that can fight off stress, relax your body and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. The chemicals released can also diminish feelings of pain and depression.
- Your smile can make you seem more attractive. Most people perceive someone with a pleasant expression as attractive and sincere. When you smile, you seem more approachable and more likeable. There’s no easier way to increase your appeal.
- Your smile can land you a job. A smile can also make you seem more reliable and trustworthy, traits that an interviewer may value. By making eye contact and smiling when greeting a potential employer, you signal that you are confident, pleasant and capable.
Whether you’re feeling down or looking to make a good impression, take a minute to remember a joke or a pleasant memory and let the thought bring a smile to your face. This World Smile Day, remember that a smile costs nothing, but benefits you and everyone you see.