In 1963, Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created, what has become the universal symbol of good will and good cheer, the “smiley face”. As years passed, Mr. Ball became concerned that the real purpose of his creation was being lost to over-commercialization. So, he declared the first Friday in October as "World Smile Day" - a day devoted to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.
Mark Stibich, Ph.D., has studied the health benefits of smiling. He suggests that it’s not only the recipient of a smile who benefits, but also the one providing the smile. Stibich's research shows that smiling helps to improve our health, reduce stress, and increase attractiveness. His 10 reasons to smile include:
1. Makes us attractive.
2. Improves our mood.
3. It's contagious.
4. Relieves stress.
5. Boosts immune system.
6. Lowers blood pressure.
7. Releases endorphins and serotonin.
8. Lifts the face, making you look younger.
9. Makes you seem successful.
10. Helps you stay positive.
Genuine smiles are called “Duchenne Smiles”. Genuine smiles signal the brain that we are happy. The brain responds by releasing endorphins that produce positive physiological changes. Here's a few tips to help you achieve these wonderful benefits:
1. Before getting out of bed, put on a smile.
2. While “dressing for success”, smile for success!
3. Practice smiling in the mirror.
4. Dance like no one’s watching!
5. Say words that elicit a smile. “Smile!” “Cheese!”
6. Remind yourself throughout the day to smile.
7. Take a “Smile Walk”. Walk around and smile at people you meet.
8. Look a friend or loved one in the eye and give a heart-felt smile.
9. Make a conscious effort to smile while talking with people.
10. Post a perfect smile on social media sites.
M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, which transforms work environments with a radically different bottom-up approach that inspires continuous improvement in health and wellbeing. To learn more, visit the website at: www.wellstreet.us or email M. J. directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.