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“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.”-Dolly Parton  and Zig Ziglar

(I have seen it attributed to both of them)

Smiles are portable, all occasion, free and contagious. If you are in a room filled with smiling people, I dare you to keep a straight face.  Lots of reasons to ‘put on a happy face’.

  • Endorphins (feel good chemicals) are released.
  • Cortisol (a stress hormone) is reduced.
  • Smiling makes you more approachable.
  • The more you smile, the more you will feel like smiling.
  • Your body doesn’t know the difference between smiling for a reason and for no reason.

Back in 1963, a now familiar piece of iconic artwork was created by an advertising professional named Harvey Ball. It became known as ‘Smiley’. A simple yellow circle with a drawing … two dots and an upswept swoop and two lines at each end. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, it appeared on buttons and t-shirts. It showed up in parody form in the film Forrest Gump. Because he never tradmarked the image, it became part of a campaign known as “Have a nice day.”

World Smile Day was launched in 1999 by Harvey Ball and honored on the first Friday in October. The motto is  “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.”

How can you help someone smile and bring yourself to grin in the process?

  • Volunteer in your community
  • Hold a door open for someone as you are walking into a store
  • Allow someone in front of you in a check out line or out of a parking lot
  • Compliment someone on their smile or what they are wearing
  • Acknowlege something another person does to make life better
  • Tell someone you love them
  • Hug those close to you
  • Encourage a child
  • Hug strangers via FREE Hugs Events
  • Prepare and bring meals to someone shut in or ill
  • Give someone a gift of your time and energy
  • Listen for the purpose of understanding, not to calculate a response
  • Mentor another
  • Pick up litter
  • Remind someone of their value
  • Leave a love note
  • Bring flowers to people
  • Pay for a beverage for the person behind you
  • Encourage people’s dreams and visions for their lives
  • If someone asks for it or is willing, pray with them
  • Visit folks in hospitals and nursing homes
  • Pay for a meal for someone who is on the street
  • Write a poem and give it to someone
  • If someone does something kind for you, pay it forward
  • Be a hope broker
  • Pay the toll for the person behind you
  • Look in the mirror and smile

And if this doesn’t get you smiling, I’m not sure what will. From an alltime favorite series Ally McBeal

Learn about the history of Smiley

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