Happy International Day of Happiness!

International Day of Happiness was established by Jayme Illien (philanthropist, activist and United National special adviser) back in 2011. In 2012 he successfully gained United Nations support and endorsement and he chose 20 March as this special day.  He chose this day for its significance as the March equinox (when the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt toward the sun, which means longer, sunnier days).  The first International Day of Happiness was celebrated on 20 March 2013.  The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon said, ‘Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations’.

“The International Day of  Happiness is more than just a fun celebration, it also reminds us all that the world is a better place when we connect with and care about the people around us”.   Dr Mark Williamson (March 2015)

Pharell Williams made the world ‘happy’ with this song in 2014.  Have you ever taken the time to listen carefully to the lyrics?  Simple but effective and available to everyone:

Sunshine’s here, you can take a break

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

https://youtu.be/ZbZSe6N_BXs

How right is he?  Everyone is searching for happiness but it may well be right in front of your nose.  The sunrise, the blue sky, your family, your dog.  Most of these cost very little, if anything yet people are still searching for the monetary element to be happy.

If you won the lottery, say a few million, would that bring you long-term happiness? Who wouldn’t want to be free of financial worries?    However, if all you focus on is the financial happiness you may never really experience true happiness.So what is happiness?Can you buy it?  What does it feel like?  According to the dictionary, happiness is ‘contentment, pleasure, satisfaction, cheerfulness, glee’.It can often be the little things that make you happy.  Notice them and be mindful of them.  Even list them.  Happiness can be as big or as small as you like – having your family around you, spending time with friends, walking your dog, reading a book. In short, doing things we enjoy and having fun.  If you measure your happiness on your success then you will never get there as it will always be on the opposite side of success.  Happiness fuels success, not the other way round.  Bringing more happiness into your life, both in your workplace and at home is a win win.  Happier workplaces are better for people and businesses.  Happier family life is better for everyone.Small changes towards a more happy environment can bring big positive changes.  Long-term happiness is not about smiling all the time.  It does not come from wealth but a belief that you are on the road you want to be on.Try getting away from your automatic pilot and try to notice things that make you happy.  Being mindful of what makes you happy is a good starting point and gets you back on the right path – the path we want to be on.As we age, we start to take stock of our lives and can experience an overwhelming sense of unhappiness or a lack of fulfilment.  By increasing your self-awareness you achieve a greater understanding of where you are in your life and how to get to where you want to be.  The feeling of happiness comes from ‘doing’.  Doing more of the things we love doing increases our happiness.  Appealing to our parasympathetic nervous system is welcomed by our body and mind.  It reduces stress, anxiety and our happiness score goes up by doing more of the things we love.Do what you love and love what you do – get the happy habit!Here are our Top 10 keys to Happier Living:

  • Giving – do things for others
  • Relating – connect with people
  • Exercising – take care of your body
  • Awareness – live life mindfully
  • Trying out – keep learning new things
  • Direction – have goals to look forward to
  • Resilience – find ways to bounce back
  • Emotions – look for what’s good
  • Acceptance – be comfortable with who you are
  • Meaning – be part of something bigger

And Finally…….Happiness must be cultivated.
It is like character.
It is not a thing to be safely let alone for a moment,
Or it will run to weedsCheck out more details on www.actionforhappiness.org and join the Action for Happiness Group JFind out more about this year’s report at http://worldhappiness.report

Watch out for this year’s World Happiness Report to be issued on 20 March 2018

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