But how powerful is a smile, really?

Leading natural beauty brand, Burt’s Bees, has today released the findings of a nation-wide ‘Smile It On’ survey that explores happiness, human connection and the power of a smile. 

Human connection scientist, Dr Ali Walker, believes the findings prove the power of human connection to drive happiness. This insight is further supported by the response that close relationships (1) outranked experiences (2) and personal achievements (3) among other points when asked what makes you happier.

“From my research, I continually uncover insights that indicate human connections and strong relationships are more vital to our wellbeing than anything else, and the Burt’s Bees research is no different. As humans, we are hard wired to connect, because we have evolved to be safer in groups. Human connection doesn’t just make us happy; it’s a biological need," said Dr Walker.

When it comes to smiles, there’s proof they are infectious; a staggering 83% of people surveyed agreed that smiles are contagious and 90% agreed that when someone smiles at you, you can’t help but smile back.

Beyond this, smiles are powerful; 94% of respondents agreed that a smile is a sign of support, 96% agree that it can connect us, and 96% agree that when times are tough, a smile can make life feel a little brighter.

Of all the research, the country was most aligned (97%) on the fact that a smile costs nothing but has the power to change.

Hearing good news (54%) was the number one driver of a smile, followed closely by doing something that makes someone else smile (34%). The research also revealed that more people smile (57%) when doing something positive for someone else, rather than for themselves.

And with that in mind, Burt's Bees has also announced an exciting partnership with The Happy Boxes Project, aimed at spreading happiness and smiles to remote communities around Australia.

“The ritual of giving a gift and helping someone in need is not just for recipients, but so too for the wonderful person on the giving end,” said The Happy Boxes Project founder, Emma Sullings. 

The Happy Boxes Project is a national charity focused on empowering women by alleviating the barriers of accessing basic needs. Toiletries and beauty products are boxed and sent across Australia, helping women in need.

"We have experienced first-hand the ripple effect a smile can have, and considering our soul currency is 'smiles', we know Burt’s Bees and the Happy Boxes Project will make the perfect team," said Sullings.

“We are so excited about the idea of all our women in remote communities being able to enjoy personal care items that will provide that extra positive buzz and spread the 'happy' throughout their communities." 

To spread happiness, Australians are invited to Smile it On by donating to The Happy Boxes Project, by looking after their smile with a Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Balm, or by simply smiling at the next person you see; because we know that 96% of Australians agree the world would be a better place if we smiled at each other more often. 

For more Burt's Bees news and to download hi-res images, click here.

Image source: Leicolhn McKellar Photography.