The smiley face we all know, love and use constantly with our messages to friends and loved ones was created in 1963 by an American man called Harvey Ball from Massachusetts. His concern to keep the meaning of the smiley face authentic – rather than commercialised – brought him to the idea of World Smile Day. Since 1999, the first Friday in October has been World Smile Day and people all over the world are invited to do an act of kindness and help one person smile.
If there is a group of people who share an understanding of the immense value of kindness then it must be carers who selflessly and generously give their time, energy and emotional support to their loved ones, every day.
We thought this special day in October is an opportunity to acknowledge and thank carers across the UK who do amazing work and thank them for what they do. The kindness they demonstrate teaches us great lessons that we’d like to recognise and share with you.
Kindness is about the only thing in the world that doubles when you share it.
Studies show that if you perform just one random act of kindness a day you’ll not only reduce your stress, anxiety and depression but your body is flooded with the same hormones that make you and the person you’ve helped calmer, healthier and happier. For example, Serotonin that heals your wounds, makes you relax and feel good, endorphins reduce pain and oxytocin reduces blood pressure making you feel more loving and loved. You feel more energised, less aches and pains and more confident. And if other people see you act with kindness they feel it too, making it more likely they will pay it forward.
We recall a beautiful story about a lady called Judy who we met in November last year who cares for her husband and enjoyed the fellowship and warmth of the carers hub hosted by the Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk in Cambridge.
So, we are learning a great skill from carers and invite you, our readers, on Friday 5th October, World Smile Day to follow their leadership and give the gift of a smile.