It’s World Smile Day on the 2nd October! Can you fake it ’til you make it on World Smile Day? We can we trick our brain into feeling happy, we can have a powerful effect on others at the same time.
As an illustrator I use this knowledge in my work in different ways – choosing colours is one of them!
The brain is a massively complex thing. It controls and co-ordinates everything in your body from how you move to how hot you are. It also plays an important role in how we control and process our emotions.
So why smile?
We’re hard wired for negativity in order to be able to detect threats defend ourselves. But a smile can break that cycle and actually re-wire your brain for positivity. This neuroplascticity (or the ability for the physiology of the brain to change) is what makes it so incredible.
On a chemical level, smiling releases the feel-good hormones dopamine and seratonin which make us happier!
On a social level a smile can make a world of difference to someone’s day and conveys warmth and friendliness.
The brain is clever but not that clever – we can trick it into created all of these responses just by faking a smile! Now I’m not saying go around with afake smile all the time but if you’re feeling glum it might be worth a try to get the seratonin flying round again!
What happens when you don’t smile?
When we frown or look sad not only do we not get the chemical and physiological benefits of a smile, it can impact quite heavily on those around us.
And something got me wondering about this recently when my son drew this picture of me!
I do alot of smiling and people often comment on it. But is this what my kids see?! It really got me thinking about if I have an “outside” face and an “inside” face. I really hope I don’t but perhaps when we’re concentrating or worried the power of that smile doesn’t come through. To the people who most need it.
So what can we do to make people smile this World Smile Day and get those endorphins pumping? Well I’ll be doing what I always do but making an extra effort to makew sure it happens even more at home! Some other things we could try are:
- Do something kind – put some flowers in your child’s bedroom so they know you care for instance.
- Cook their favourite meal.
- Give them your undivided time – ditch the devices and really be with them.
- Get them to ring Grandma or someone who’s been alone during lockdown. Not only will this make Grandma smile it will give their self worth a boost.
- Send a card or a letter to someone you love! Have a look at our range here.
There are lots of ideas over on the website and (if you can) keep smiling!