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☺World Smile Day☺

Hello! My name is Isabela Bonilla, and I am a new intern here at Allow Health. I am excited to be working here and letting you know a little about myself through these blogs. Today’s blog I will be talking about World Smile Day. What is World Smile Day? When did it come around? Why is this important to me? All will be explained and can be applied in your own life as well as staying aware of your mental health.

World Smile Day is the first Friday of Oct, which in this year's case is the 6th, where we take the “day to smile and make small acts of kindness worldwide.” (Pittman,2020) The origin story of world smile day starts with the creation of the smiley face symbol in 1963. A graphic artist by the name of Harvey Ball, was tasked to make “a morale booster for employees” (Silzer, K.,2019) for State Mutual Life Assurance. Rumor states that it only took the artist 10 minutes to create the symbol that forever changed his life and the world. What started as a small project for a company to boost morale ended up being the staple symbol for smiles worldwide. It, however, came with a downside for the artist. There were many people trying to fight for the rights of the symbol again because it was being overused and he felt it was losing its original purpose. In 1999 World Smile Day became an official holiday in order to gain that control again. His goal was to “to keep the smile connected to the human being.” (Pittman,2020)

Now why would World Smile Day be so important to me? It’s important to find the little things in life that make us happy. Life is not intended to be easy, so we need to be able to step back. In my life, I find it challenging to stay positive at times because of the world around me and small inconveniences in life. However, I find it helpful to fake it till you make it. And you can do that by smiling. Believe it or not, smiling can actually boost your mood even if you’re faking it. In a study conducted by nature human behavior they found, “that the increased levels of happiness participants reported after being exposed to smiling versus neutral faces may be due to “emotional contagion”(Herrando, & Constantinide,2021 ) — where people tend to align their emotional state with those around them.” and “Participants reported higher levels of happiness in the presence than in the absence of positive image”

Seeing that World Smile Day runs deeper than just its name and the concept of smiling, we see that its origins of the symbol and its creator, as well as the benefits of smiling. I will leave you with a final question. How can we apply this to our everyday lives or today for World Smile Day?

1.Do things that make you happy.

2. Try fake smiling

3. Make a stranger's day in any way possible.

4.Take up a new/old hobby that may spark some passion or a way to unwind

And most importantly look out for your mental health.

Here are 5 things you can do to look out for your mental health:

1.Go for a walk

2. Journal

3. Try out something new

4. Get good sleep

5. Eat healthy

At the end of the day the only person that can take care of you is you. The first steps can be taken today simply by participating in the objective of this holiday.

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☺ Coles, N. A., March, D. S., Marmolejo-Ramos, F., Larsen, J. T., Arinze, N. C., Ndukaihe, I. L. G., Willis, M. L., Foroni, F., Reggev, N., Mokady, A., Forscher, P. S., Hunter, J. F., Kaminski, G., Yüvrük, E., Kapucu, A., Nagy, T., Hajdu, N., Tejada, J., Freitag, R. M. K., … Liuzza, M. T. (2022). A multi-lab test of the facial feedback hypothesis by the Many Smiles Collaboration. Nature Human Behaviour, 6(12), 1731–1742.

☺Herrando, & Constantinides. (2021). Emotional Contagion: A Brief Overview and Future Directions. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.

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