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And 28 percent value it so much, they feel being on the receiving end of a grin is worth more than a gift.
While 62 percent said a simple smile from someone leaves them feeling more confident and 36 percent wanting to do something nice for someone else.
The study was commissioned by Belvita, which teamed up with Katie Piper, to create an uplifting portrait series celebrating and representing smiles that have sparked community spirit across the UK.
The series, shot by world-renowned celebrity portrait photographer Andy Gotts, features five local heroes alongside the philanthropist, who have gone above and beyond in their local communities.
These include Oyovwe Agatha Kigho, founder of the Widows Empowerment Trust, Stefan Simanowitz and Paul Moore, co-founders of Take One, Leave One.
It also features Sam Pritchard, who started the ‘Cards Fighting Loneliness’ initiative and Jacky Alder, a local wonder woman who cooked, shopped and dog-walked for elderly residents in her community throughout the pandemic.
Katie Piper OBE said: “We don’t realise the true impact our smiles have on others – it’s a small gesture that can really change someone’s day.
“I hope you see the portrait series and are inspired to continue the chain of positivity.”
The study also found 26 percent value a smile more than getting praise at work, and 52 percent said it makes them feel happier.
In fact, 64 percent said the impact of a smile from a stranger equates to the same feeling of receiving up to three compliments in one day.
As a result of the humble smile, Brits feel empowered to pass the positivity onto their friends (57 percent), family (55 percent) and even strangers (23 percent).
The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found a smile is needed more than ever as darker days draw closer, with 61 percent needing a boost of positivity.
As 75 percent feel their mood is affected by the shorter and chillier days of the autumn and winter months.
It also emerged 42 percent feel lonelier in the colder months, with this drop in temperature making it harder to interact with others, according to 38 percent of those polled.
A third feel people smile less during the colder months, but 33 percent agreed a grin goes much further when it is dreary outside.
Gabriella Sargeant, at Belvita, added: “We believe that positive energy can start with the smallest gesture, such as a smile, or an act of kindness from a stranger – which all help to spread positivity from one person to another.
“Our portrait series champions the smiles of unsung heroes who’ve gone the extra mile for their community, in a bid to spread positivity across the UK.
“We want to keep celebrating these good gestures, so are asking you to help spread positivity by telling us about your hero and smile spreader by heading to our Instagram page.”
Follow the #BelvitaSmileSpreaders hashtag to view the positive portraits and get involved by telling us about a hero smile spreader in your community.
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