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World Smile Day: History, significance, health benefits and quotes to bring that twinkle back to your face

An American artist, Harvey Ball came up with the idea of celebrating World Smile Day in 1963.

World Smile Day: History, significance, health benefits and quotes to bring that twinkle back to your face
The concept of the day is to encourage people to act kind and make others smile. (Getty Image)

One universal expression that beams with positivity and is a bridge for all other expressions is the smile. No society has been found that did not know how to smile and respond to smile in a different way and hence it is celebrated with a special day. Even Darwin’s theory bears testimony to the expression of a smile.

In his seminal work, ‘The Expression of Emotions in Animals and Man’,Darwin looked at various human expressions that were common to all peoples. He realized that babies are naturally attracted to the human face because it is highly expressive and captivating. They also prefer a smiling human face to any other shape.

History of World Smile Day

The most stressful times can be diluted with a simple smile from another person. World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October every year and this year it falls on October 7.

An American artist, Harvey Ball came up with the idea of celebrating World Smile Day in 1963. He created the iconic image of a smiling face, but he later realized that its original significance had been lost due to ‘over-commercialization.’

Due to his concern, he came up with the idea of celebrating World Smile Day, which is dedicated to acts of kindness. It was established in 1999 and has since been observed on the first Friday in October. Following his death in 2001, Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was established to honour his name and memories.

World Smile Day: Significance and Celebration

The concept of the day is to encourage people to act kind and make others smile. It also seeks to recognize the non-political and cultural boundaries of smiles.

In different ways, people around the world celebrate World Smile Day. One of these is the throwing of a ball, which has been happening since 2000. The event, which is hosted by the Worcester Historical Society, features various events and displays related to the day.

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In addition, various other events and activities related to the day are also held in other countries. These include the launching of balloons carrying messages related to the day. Other events include a variety of competitions and activities such as circus performances with the ever-smiling joker, singing of songs, and the pie-eating contest.

Why is smiling important to your well-being?

According to the Henry Ford Foundation, apart from boosting a person’s mood, smiling can also help their bodies release various chemicals in their systems. These include endorphins and cortisol. It further helps in reducing blood pressure, increasing endurance, reducing pain, and stress, and strengthening the immune system.

Studies also suggest that people who smile are more likable and appear to be more competent. They can also be more productive at work.

To get the most out of these benefits, it’s important that people start their day with a smile. Smiling is contagious. According to researchers, when people smile, their brain activates a feature that allows them to synchronize with others.

Quotes about the energy of a smile that you can forward to your loved ones

“Smile, because it confuses people. Smile, because it’s easier than explaining what is killing you inside.” ― The Joker – Heath Ledger.

“Smile, smile, smile at your mind as often as possible. Your smiling will considerably reduce your mind’s tearing tension.” – Sri Chinmoy

“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” – Connie Stevens

“Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available.” — Jim Beggs

“Peace begins with a smile.” — Mother Teresa

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