1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Smile!

By October 3, 2013

Follow me on:

"Smiling's my favorite!" --Buddy The Elf, played by Will Farrell

A while back, I decided to celebrate--and bring to your awareness--the different well-known and obscure observances that are floating around the calendar. Because different groups worked hard to make October National [Whatever] Month, or a particular day National--Or International!--[Something] Day, and because many of these observed 'special days' can bring our awareness to different stress management topics, I think they're worth a little attention. (Read more about my reasoning in this blog post.)

Why am I telling you this now? Because October 3rd happens to be 'National Smile Day', and I wanted to be sure you knew about it! (Tuning in late? It's okay--you can be a rebel and celebrate it after-the-fact; I doubt anyone will call you on it: "Why are you smiling so much? Don't you know National Smile Day was last week?!")

And why am I telling you about it at all? Well, it happens that just the act of smiling can help your stress levels in significant ways! Even a fake smile can trigger neurochemical changes that make you feel better and less stressed, and can often evoke positive reactions from others, which can make you feel even better.

So smile at your kids when you see them today--seeing your face light up at seeing them will brighten their day. Smile at your loved ones, even if you're stressed. Smile at strangers and count how many times you get a smile back (or laugh to yourself at the occasional confused looks you may get if you live in a big city like New York City). See how your day is affected by the smiles you give and receive. Then try it again tomorrow!
--Elizabeth

Resources That Can Help You Smile:

  • How to Be Happy
    A fake smile may be good, but a genuine one is even better! Here's a step-by-step resource on how to be happy that should get you smiling.

  • How to Maintain a Sense of Humor
    Take your frustrations and turn them into 'good materiel' for a chuckle, guffaw or laugh shared with friends. Learn how to laugh in the face of stress!

  • Positive Thinking
    How does 'looking on the bright side' work in everyday life, and help you relieve stress? Find out here!

  • 10 Reasons To Smile
    From my friend and fellow Guide, Dr. Mark Stibich, learn more about the various benefits of smiling. (Hint: he's the Longevity Guide!)

  • Take the Optimism Quiz
    The results of this quiz may actually surprise you--many people who think they're optimists are actually pessimists, and are missing many opportunities in life. Take this quiz to see how full your glass is, and find resources to create many more smiles for yourself!
What makes you smile?
Share your thoughts in the 'comments' section, or post in the Stress Management Forum.

Like this post? Want to use it to start a discussion with your friends? Pass it on!

Ongoing Stress Reduction Resources - Follow Me on Twitter - Subscribe to the Newsletter

Comments
October 4, 2008 at 7:40 am
(1) Matt Biskup says:

Wow, I didn’t even know this was a holiday!

I love it.

I’m sure it was propelled by some commercial interest like dentists, but who cares. Let’s participate anyway. We need more holidays that we can actually celebrate every day of the year.

Smiles are like love. They’re one of the few things that when you give them away, you get more in return.

As a happiness coach this is one of the first things I recommend to my students.

Even better, you don’t even have to go to a store and purchase something to celebrate this holiday!

October 4, 2008 at 5:31 pm
(2) deborah says:

Ever notice it’s impossible to clench your jaw when you’re smiling! :-)

October 4, 2008 at 7:12 pm
(3) Vitallywell says:

It’s hard to be stressed when you’re smiling. Deep breathing and smiling are two of the least expensive stress reducers I know of. Besides, it lowers other people’s stress levels too!

October 6, 2008 at 11:03 pm
(4) Elizabeth Stanfill says:

Smiling’s my favorite too…

April 1, 2014 at 11:51 am
(5) Terezzitha says:

Walking in the prceense of giants here. Cool thinking all around!

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.