Don’t worry be happy!
The 20th March, 2020, marks the International Day of Happiness. This globally-celebrated occasion is geared towards injecting a bit of happiness back into our lives, with a range of activities and events that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
What’s it all about?
The importance of celebrating or marking happiness can be traced back to the country of Bhutan. Often voted as the happiest nation on the planet, the people of Bhutan recognised that happiness is just as important as wealth for evaluating economic wellbeing.
The United Nations (UN) eagerly latched onto this notion, and after holding its first conference on Happiness back in 2012, it declared that from 2013 onwards, every 20 March would be celebrated across the world as the International Day of Happiness.
Today, over 200 nations take part, with activities and events organised that help participants feel better about their lives.
Each year has a distinct theme that celebrates different facets of feeling good. For example, in 2013, participants were asked to recognise happy heroes, that is, those who do great work to help others feel better. In 2014, the theme was about reclaiming happiness, while in 2015, it was all about building positive relationships.
This year, the theme revolves around being Happier Together. Participants are invited to celebrate what we have in common with each other, as opposed to what divides us.
How to be happy
Happiness is important to our overall wellbeing, but sometimes it’s not always easy knowing just how to be happy. With mental health problems on the rise, stress levels soaring at work or at home, and many people suffering from financial woes, health issues or loneliness, achieving that harmonious state of wellbeing can prove to be elusive.
While International Day of Happiness does not ignore these issues, it does recognise that sometimes making small changes to our everyday routines or lifestyle and thinking about things differently can help to bring that sunshine feeling flooding back into our world – at least for a while!
In order to bring on the feelings of joy this International Day of Happiness, the UN suggests there are various ways to achieve this.
Spread the word
By wishing friends and family a happy International Day of Happiness, you can help to spread the word about this feel-good campaign. Get the message going viral, too, by posting on social media using hashtags such as #internationaldayofhappiness, #choosehappiness or #happinessforallforever. Pledge to promote happiness today and in the future; after all, happiness is infectious, so if you’re happy, you can create a positive environment around you.
Do things that make you feel happy
On this International Day of Happiness, do things that make you feel good about yourself! Whether that’s browsing the latest beauty or fashion magazines, meeting up with friends or family, helping someone out or chilling out in front of the TV with a takeaway. In our busy lives, it can be easy to neglect the things we enjoy, or indulge in a bit of me-time, so this is an open invitation to look out for yourself on this significant day.
Happiness events are taking place throughout the world on 20 March, so find out what is happening near you. If there’s nothing going, why not create your own happiness event, whether at work or with friends and family? It could be as simple as getting together to have a natter over coffee and cake or organising an event to raise funds for a worthy cause or helping out those in need.
Yet, there are plenty of other ways that we can introduce feelings of happiness into our lives each and every day of the year. What makes us feel happy is often a personal thing, so sit down and make a list of the things that make you feel good about life, and those that don’t. Focus on doing more of the good things, while stamping out the bad things.
Happiness and stress
In particular, happiness and stress rarely go hand in hand, so if there are any situations in your life that are stressful, you’re unlikely to feel glowing with glee at the same time. Whether you’re experiencing stress at work, at home, or in relationships, try to find solutions that can help to lower worrisome feelings. Seek advice and help from professionals, if needs be. Women, in particular, often experience stress when trying to juggle family and work commitments, so if you feel that your life is out of balance, try to seek a resolution that makes you feel happier about your situation.
Getting involved with exercising, volunteering or being around those that make you laugh can all reduce stress levels, helping to put things into perspective, while raising those all-important feel-good hormones.
What excuse have you got? With International Day of Happiness firmly fixed on the calendar, it’s a welcome green light to go ahead and feel good about life!