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National Smile Power Day is the perfect excuse to shine your pearly whites and show off those dimples. And no, a smiley face or an emoticon won’t do! Not today, at least. The smile is a symbol of happiness and vitality, a beacon of hope and an expression of emotion. So just for today, drop the ‘:)’ texts and flash them a real smile. Go on….

What is in the power of a smile, one may ask. Well, when we smile we automatically trigger our own autonomic nervous system, which releases endorphins into our blood, to trigger a happy hormone. That being said, smiling at someone else, offers a chance for them too to feel that same happy hormone. It’s a win/win situation isn’t it? Start everyday with a smile and smile at strangers, it’s good for your immune system and it brings a little cheer to an otherwise possibly dismal day (especially Mondays ey?).

The history of National Smile Power Day

Nobody knows who came up with the idea of dedicating a whole 24 hours to the involuntary contraction of the zygomatic major muscle, but one thing is certain: we’re the only creatures on the planet that can do it. Whether fate smiled upon you or not, you can always find a good reason to smile. So grin from ear to ear, look on the bright side and smile your troubles away, just like the great Dr. Seuss suggested: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” You may be wondering just exactly how smiling helps us mentally, but there are many reasons to suggest that it does.

We smile involuntarily, when thinking back on fond events, or of those we love, which is certainly a good reason to celebrate. If you’re needing some more reasons as to what makes smiling such a dandy little tool, you can soak up the following information: it makes you more attractive, so they say, smiling attracts the opposite sex and highlights both your personality and radiates warmth to others. Smiling is also contagious; the only time that something contagious is good for you – it encourages and promotes a happy and healthy atmosphere and brings a sense of community. So when you’re that person who starts a chain of smiles today, be proud knowing you have created a little bit of worldly joy!

Why is smiling so good for us? 

Smiling lowers your blood pressure; now this is mostly due to the fact that smiling releases that happy hormone we spoke about before. It temporarily relieves stress, so smiling more frequently will put your body into a state of relaxation. This is the same for your health, yes, smiling can in fact be a pain reliever! Allowing your body to smile and release that tension could in fact help you and if you’re skeptical on this fact, then take a look at nitrous oxide, better known as ‘laughing gas’, which has been around for years, a practical and ingenious idea to help ease your pain, so there’s even more reason to start smiling now isn’t there?

How to celebrate National Smile Power Day

If you want a little boost to your self confidence, let’s say you’re waiting on that impending job interview, you might want to smile to yourself beforehand. Smile in the mirror at yourself, a power smile instils a sense of confidence into you. Continue your power smile as you shake hands at the interview and continue with a sense of calmness and contentment. Smiling can and will make you look younger, forget about the laugh lines, the most troubling of all facial wrinkles is of course the frown lines which can make us look tired and withdrawn. Smiling allows you to work those facial muscles to keep them supple, practice it as part of your skincare routine and cut back on the botox bill, it’s not rocket science, it’s smiling! 😉

National Smile Power Day will also make you question just how much you smile as well as who around you takes the time to smile too. Now, sitting there all day at your desk with a grin like a cheshire cat is not going to really have much impact, however, it should get a few laughs from your fellow co-workers! You’ll start to notice the effect it has on those around you when you bring a little bit of joy into the room.

Depression itself impacts just how much happiness we feel, and many psychologists and therapists will encourage the practice of mindfulness and smiling more, connecting and feeling a more internal peace with yourself. Smiling forms a bond and connection between two people; whether that’s when they say thank you to you for holding the door open, perhaps it’s a smile you both share at a checkout or in a queue, or from far away, but it’s undoubtedly a very intimate and special bond that should be celebrated more often!

Challenge yourself, not just on National Smile Power Day but also on other days of the year, to smile at least once to yourself, to a stranger or to a family member. See the response it has and the connection it forms; especially if you take time to let the smile last a little longer than usual. Remember, we all need a bit of encouragement, sometimes! 

National Smile Power Day is connected to the act of kindness and giving and being able to appreciate the power, not just of a smile but of a gesture! What would the world be without a few gestures? National Smile Power Day is meant to be shared with loved ones and friends alike. You can take them all out to a stand-up show, put together an organised smile-off, eat smiley-glazed cupcakes, drink some Smile Cocktails, and paint smileys everywhere because everyone and his brother loves them. Most importantly, when you crack a smile today, remember that it’s not National Smile Power Day unless you can put a smile on someone else’s face, too.

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