They say the best things in life are free, so here’s a quick and easy way to brighten someone’s day that won’t cost you a penny – but will make you feel good.
He may have been known as ‘Cranky Franky’, but crooner Frank Sinatra is responsible for popularising a very cheery message that has stood the test of time.
Sixty years ago, he enjoyed a hit with When You’re Smiling, a tune best known for the catchy lyrics “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you”.
Cynics may think the song’s theme is a little cheesy, but research has shown it’s actually true. Smiling is contagious and good for our health. Let us explain why.
The science behind smiling
Researchers have discovered that when we smile, our brain releases the feelgood chemicals serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. In other words, flashing a cheeky grin improves your mood and lowers your blood pressure and anxiety levels.
And as we humans are hardwired to mimic the mannerisms and facial gestures we see around us, chances are the person you smile at will smile back – and also enjoy a dose of positive chemicals.
World Smile Day
This brings us to World Smile Day, which is today (7 October). The event was started by Harvey Ball, who designed the iconic yellow smiley face image that has appeared on countless badges and t-shirts (and inspired the smiling face emoji).
Ball created the image in 1963 but never trademarked it (he says he was never money driven). However, by 1999, Ball felt that the original meaning behind the symbol (friendship and kindness) was getting lost, so he started World Smile Day. It aims to encourage people to spread good cheer through random acts of kindness.
So now it’s over to you. How will you mark World Smile Day? You could:
- Flash your pearly whites at passers-by as you go about your daily business.
- Give up your seat on public transport to someone.
- Stop to chat to a neighbour who you rarely talk to.
- Dish out thoughtful compliments to people whom you encounter in person and online.
- Donate to a local charity that is doing positive work in your community.
From all of us here at Chamberlains, stay safe and keep smiling.