The ‘Smiley Face’ was originally designed in 1963 by Harvey Ball in Massachusetts. His intention was to inspire people to take a day – although it would be great to practice SMILING every day – to focus on kindness and spreading goodwill and cheer by smiling. His iconic symbol is one of the most recognizable in the world – even if we may not have a clue who is Harvey.
The actual act of smiling invites our brains to feel happy. When smiles occur naturally; you sneak peak your child asleep, run into an old friend, play with a puppy, it is typically because you find yourself in a pleasant situation. Happy brains produce endorphins and your neurons signal your facial muscles to smile. This positive feedback loop can be triggered the opposite way as well. Try it. Look in the mirror and SMILE at yourself!
Friday was World Smile Day – but you can go out there and smile at others RIGHT NOW. You’ll find it’s contagious, like yawning. A Swedish study found that it is near impossible to stay ‘frowny’ when looking at someone who is smiling.