Don’t you love all these yearly celebrations of everything from kohlrabi to maple syrup and bubble gum? This month alone we have World Vegetarian Day (Monday, Oct 1 – oops missed that one, but don’t worry it’s celebrated all month), National Chocolate Cupcake Day (Thursday, October 18 – I’m stoked for that one), and National Nut Day (Monday, October 22 – I celebrate the nuttiness in me every day).
This month around college campuses it’s Celebrate You Month with observances of building self-esteem; connection to mind, body, and spirit; community service; mindful eating; and integration of movement – hummm, sounds a little like yoga to me.
Last Friday, in case you missed it, was World Smile Day®. The first Friday of October each year has been designated as World Smile Day by Harvey Ball, the commercial artist who originally developed the smiley face back in 1963. Harvey was getting a little concerned that the goodwill and good cheer symbolism of his iconic smiley face was getting lost in commercialization and came up with the idea to devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.
The concept is simple. “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.” This is something anyone can do without much thought, without any cost to bring about positive effects beyond our expectations.
As soon as I found this out about World Smile Day® on Friday I went around beaming at everyone I came in contact with. I love catching people’s gaze and just sending them a little smile-bomb. Yeah, some people think you’re a goof, but the majority light up as a smile spreads across their face.
When we smile, a few things happen:
1) Scientific studies show that smiling releases endorphins that make you happy. It’s kind of like taking a natural drug or pain killer that just makes you feel good.
2) You get an incredible workout for your jaw and cheekbones.
3) You get better looking than you already are (think about it, a smile is much more attractive than a frown). The heck with face lifts – I’m going to keep smiling to keep my face looking young.
4) When you smile, you relax, and that helps relieve stress.
5) Did I mention you get happy? When you need to turn your day around, smile and repeat this mantra: Life is Good!
So, my big burning question is…why isn’t every day World Smile Day?
If it’s so simple, why not practice the simple act of smiling and sharing your smile with others every day?
On the same token, why shouldn’t every month be Celebrate You Month?
I realize not every day can be National Cupcake Day, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to make all my days “Smile” days.
“Let us all meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
Need more smiles? Check out my “Smileasana” yoga class theme and playlist full of songs that will make you smile!