Let’s see those pearly whites — it’s World Smile Day! It’s celebrated on the first Friday of October every year. World Smile Day first began with Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Massachusetts, who designed the smiley face in 1963. Ball’s ultimate goal was to inspire the world to dedicate one day each year to smiling and performing kind acts in the community.
The day was first celebrated in 1999 and we’ve been grinning on this special Friday every year since. Ball’s smiley face has become one of the most recognizable symbols of goodwill and good cheer and his hope was for us to portray those qualities, too. No matter the destruction, racism, and sadness going on in the world, today is a day to share some compassion to help us stress a little less and smile a little more!
World Smile Day Activities
Wear your smile
Smiling is a simple way to spread happiness and cheer throughout the day. As we established before, smiles are contagious and by smiling at others, we can have a palpably positive impact on the world. Let your ear-to-ear grins start a happi-demic!
Send a positive note or card to a friend
Sometimes the best way to make someone smile is to send them a thoughtful card or give them a motivational note. Let that be the reason someone smiles today.
Do a good deed
Part of the celebration for today is doing something that elicits smiles through our actions. One of the most powerful ways to spread a smile is by doing something nice for others. Consider volunteering your time at a hospital or your local soup kitchen, help a friend out with that big favor, or finally schedule some family time. Actions speak louder (and happier) than words.
Why We Love World Smile Day
It makes us happy (even when we're not)
The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you're happy, which signals the brain to pump out tons of feel-good endorphins. In a sense, by smiling, we initiate a positive feedback loop in our brains that reinforces our joy. Smile, it's like free therapy!
It spreads cheer
Research shows that smiling is, in fact, contagious. Seeing a friend smile can make you activate the muscles in your face to mimic their same expression, even when you're not aware of it. When you smile, the world smiles back.
It can help you land a job
Job interviews are heavily based on first impressions— you can't just wear a suit or dress, you have to wear a smile too! Smiling tells other people that you are friendly, confident and conscientious. Sounds like traits that most companies look for in potential employees, right?