Chinese girl dances with fan -Giacomo Pirozzi/UNICEF

Never underestimate the power and impact of one simple facial gesture: your smile. Universally understood even by infants, the movement of upturning your lips can create happy feelings—even when you are not feeling happy.

Everyone has seen how an infant responds to a smile. The response is instinctive. Dr. David Chamberlain studied babies beginning at conception, and studied brain activity in infants. Contrary to popular belief, early smiles are not all “gas”.

Smile centers in the brain are active from a very early prenatal stage of development, and they are now considered to be an important part of learning how to cope with the world, even before we see our first glimpse of daylight, according to Smile! The The Powerful Science of Smiling.

Dr. Norman Cousins was able to reverse his own cancer with laughter because the body has its own biochemical system of responses, so that even a fake smile can lead to real happiness. Studies of brain waves have revealed that faking a real smile was sufficient to activate the pleasure centers in the brain.

Try it right now. You will likely feel a response.

WATCH: Terminal Cancer Survivor Spends Days Smiling and Waving at Drivers

The smile may be more useful in defusing a negative situation than any persuasion. It is the easiest way to uplift someone’s day, especially a stranger who may be experiencing tough times.

To Celebrate World Happy Day, these Stories and Photos will Ignite Your Smile…

(Click each photo to see the good news story)

Check out this elderly bridesmaid, the star of these wedding photos – Sweetwater Photography, released
This dog can ’say cheese’ and smile on demand –Amanda Robles
WATCH this dog ’say cheese’ and smile on demand –Amanda Robles
Dick Van Dyke-90-flashmob-permission-Nicola Buck-social links required
WATCH Dick Van Dyke Celebrate 90th Birthday With Flash Mob of Chimney Sweeps
UN Sec Gen Moon with Psy laughing-UNphoto
UN Secretary-General meets the Korean singer, Psy (No Story, just the cute UN photo)
“Smiley” Dog Born Without Eyes Serves as Beacon for Disabled – Joanne George, FB
This “Smiley” Dog Born Without Eyes Serves as Beacon for Disabled – Joanne George, FB
Liberian women-Happy-UNMIL-Staton Winter
Women in Liberia celebrate ten years of peace, and now an ebola-free country (UNMIL-Staton Winter)

SHARE some Good News with your Friends to Help them Smile! –Photo (top) Giacomo Pirozzi for UNICEF