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Happy World Smile Day everybody! In accordance with this special day, we at The Humble Co. want to fill you in about the story of our sunny fella – smiley! In fact, the commonly known smiley face is considered a symbol of goodwill and good cheer on our planet; an international icon. Truly, smiley accompanies people all over the world on a regular basis through its online just as well as offline media presence. In addition, there seems to be a never-ending variety of the yellow companion; whether the smiley is laughing, blushing, or tearing up, you can easily find the most accurate version of it to express yourself for instance on social media channels. Nevertheless, at the bottom of this infinite number of choices, there is the original smiley face designed by Harvey Ball, an American commercial artist, in 1963. During that time, Ball was genuinely hired by a company to evolve an image that improved its employee’s morale. As a result, the initial design of the smiley face arose. Because Ball never added copyright to his design, the icon easily and quickly spread all over the world.
In 1999 Ball formed the concept of World Smile Day, to combat the over-commercialization of his design; a day dedicated to ‘good cheer and good works.’ Since the very first World Smile Day, the movement continuously spread further amongst the globe. Consequently, more and more people are consciously doing an act of kindness, the first Friday of October every year (i.e. World Smile Day). Here, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re celebrating this special day by yourself, secretly putting a smile on somebody’s face, or in public by for one creating the world’s largest human smiley face. What truly matters is acting upon Ball’s intention of devoting a day to smiles and kind acts throughout the world, because small pleasantries matter. Really, there is a scientific reason behind the pleasant feeling caused by heartwarming smiles, big grin, and contagious laughter. So, here are the hot facts:
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are generally responsible to block pain (e.g. within situations of stress, fear, etc.). Yet, besides that, they are just as well in charge of feelings of pleasure. Hence, when you find yourself in a happy environment, endorphins are being produced and neuronal signals transmitted to your facial muscles. As a result, a smile is triggered. At the same time your smiling muscles contract, a signal is sent back to your brain stimulating the reward system, creating a loop of positive feedback. Thus, when you are feeling down, and want to cheer yourself up, simply smile until positive emotions are triggered, and you’re actually feeling happy again. You are not a fan of faking it? Luckily, smiling is contagious – Hang out with people that make you happy and smile often and you are good to go!
According to Ball, the smiley face knows no politics, no geography, and no religion and for at least one day each year neither should we. After he passed away in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was founded. Factually, this foundation is a non-profit charitable trust that supports children’s causes. So, in the spirit of that, do your good deed for the day and Do an act of kindness! Help one person smile!
You want to dig even deeper into the topic, or are simply looking for inspiration on how to celebrate World Smile Day? Check out the official website for more information.