On Saturday 20th March the third International Day of Happiness was celebrated with various activities in many countries. You may have missed it altogether or the media coverage possibly entered the peripheries of your awareness or you may even have been involved in an awareness raising event yourself.
In 2011 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognised “happiness as a fundamental goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all people.” The UN wants us to remember that it is family and friends and emotional well-being that actually makes us happy not material possessions and that we should share what makes us happy with everyone else.
This day was first celebrated in 2013 when we were encouraged to reach out and connect with the people around us. A year later, Pharrell Williams was invited to partner the UN Foundation to celebrate during the success of his global hit “Happy”. Fans were encouraged to post YouTube videos of themselves demonstrating their happiness to Pharrell’s track. The message of the 2nd Happiness Day was “Life is too short not to be happy.” This year International Day of Happiness website, lists Ten Keys to Happier Living under the acronym GREAT DREAM:. Giving, Relating, Exercising, Appreciating, Trying Out, Direction, Resilience, Emotion, Acceptance, Meaning. Once again we are asked to make “more positive connections with others”. The Independent acknowledged the Day by listing the Best Jokes Ever (Possibly) and there were inspirational quotations, positive messages and playlists of happy songs elsewhere in the media.
Happiness is important to us all. We want it for ourselves, our families, our friends; we want a happier world. The field of Positive Psychology observes that happiness can be cultivated by focusing on the strengths and traits we possess such as kindness, originality, humour, optimism and generosity.
Here are a couple of exercises that can make you happier now.
Do something kind for someone else. We know that this makes us feel good. It is also contagious. Studies show that it creates a ripple outwards inspiring others to be kind.
Smile (Fake it until you feel it) Smiling stimulates the brain’s reward mechanisms, reduces stress in body and mind and helps to generate more positive emotions.
What’s not to like?
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed