Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 15:49 UK
Swansea accentuates the positive
Generic image of a smiling baby
Smiling is contagious

A campaign urging everyone to smile their way to better mental health is in Swansea on Saturday, October 10.

It will highlight the health benefits of simple positive things we can all do every day and ask what makes you smile?

Between 11am and 4.30pm the BBC event will be in Castle Square, Swansea, and five other UK cities offering activities and games which will hopefully generate grins.

It will be hosted by Radio Wales presenter Mal Pope.

...just the physical act of a smile can induce positive emotions in a smiler.
Professor Peter Kinderman

The event will include "laughologists" on stage to tickle the city's funnybones.

There will also be a competitive interactive 'big smile' game in which the people of Swansea can burst dark clouds and turn them into smiles while pitting their wits against the other cities.

And there will be a chance to quiz BBC Radio 1 presenter Aled Jones along with a range of other feel good activities including Tai Chi, clay-modelling and karaoke. And the Big Screen will show the quirky What Makes You Smile films.

Campaign Executive Nina Bell explains: "Smiling is the universal sign of wellbeing and we want people to tell us what makes them smile.

"By just thinking about what makes us happy, we already start to feel better and more positive and it's scientifically proven that smiling makes you feel and look happier, healthier and more attractive.

Generic image of a man laughing
Smiling makes people look and feel happier, healthier and more attractive

"BBC Headroom is all about finding simple, effective ways of encouraging people to take better care of their mental health - and what could be simpler than smiling?

"We want the people of Swansea to come down to the Big Screen event, take part in the activities and share what makes them smile.

"Being active and socialising are great ways to stay mentally well and the straightforward action of smiling does many positive things that can help boost mood and morale but best of all, smiling is contagious, so not only will they feel happier, but they should be able to share some of that good feeling around!"

"There is considerable scientific evidence that just the physical act of a smile can induce positive emotions in a smiler," agrees Liverpool University's Professor of Clinical Psychology and Headroom Consultant, Peter Kinderman.

Image of BBC Radio 1 presenter Aled Jones in Aberystwyth
BBC Radio 1 presenter Aled Jones

"But to really lift your mood you need to make sure that your smile is a real one.

"So rather than just deliberately grinning, try to bring to mind some things that really make you smile - talking to a loved one on the phone or watching Fawlty Towers - and make sure that your grin is genuine!"