March 18, 2016

5 Ways to Celebrate International Day of Happiness

by Amanda Fernandes, Project Happiness Regional Director, Caribbean

“The International Day of Happiness is an official UN day that “recognizes the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal”. A profound shift in attitudes is underway all over the world. People are now recognising that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy.

March 20 has been established as the annual International Day of Happiness and all 193 United Nations member states have adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority.”

We’re not talking about the superficial happiness that comes from having the latest technology, cars or fashion but rather the authentic, lasting happiness that brings people a sense of fulfillment. It’s the sustainable pleasure that comes from building healthy relationships with your family and friends, discovering your true calling or simply being happy with who we are.

How can you join in the happiness movement? Here are 5 ways you can celebrate International Day of Happiness that will lead to a happier, more fulfilled you.

1. Make Someone Smile

International Day of Happiness - Make Someone Smile

What more of a perfect way to celebrate this day than to make someone smile? Whether it be a stranger, friend, family member of acquaintance, put a smile on someone’s face today. This can be as simple as sharing an inspirational quote with someone, to complimenting them, surprising them with a treat of some sort, or maybe even just giving them a hug. After all “Happiness is only real when shared”- Christopher Mc Candless.

2. Make Yourself Smile

International Day of Happiness - Make Yourself Smile

It’s easy to get caught up in making others happy, but for us to truly be able to spread happiness, we ourselves need to be happy. Do something for yourself on this day, whether it be indulging in your favourite food, or spending time with people who make you laugh or simply having a few mindful moments in which you can reflect on some of your happiest memories. “Happiness starts with you. Not with your relationships, not with your job, not with your money, but with you.”

3. Reflect on Your Happiness

International Day of Happiness - Reflect on Your Happiness

Reflect on who and what makes you happy and where and when you are happiest. We are often able to quickly identify who or what makes us happy but when asked if we make time each day to be with the people who make us happy or to do the things that make us happy, the answer is often no. Record who and what makes you happy and where and when you are happiest. This will serve as a reminder to you that you should be incorporating these people, places and things into your life on a daily basis as these are your sources of happiness. We’re all in the pursuit of happiness, therefore we should all be doing more of what we love and spending time with the people we love. Make your happiness a priority.

If you feel so inclined, take to social media and share about who or what makes you happy. Tag your friends and ask them to share about their happiness as well.

4. Give Thanks

International Day of Happiness - Give Thanks

Expressing gratitude is a great way to share happiness. This can be a rewarding experience for both the receiver and the expresser. Who doesn’t love feeling appreciated? On the flip side, doesn’t it feel great to know that with your simple expression of appreciation or gratitude, you’ve touched someone’s life? Expressing gratitude has been associated with positive emotions as well as strong feelings of self-worth and accomplishment. Expressing gratitude has also been linked to better physical and psychological health. Expressing gratitude can be a simple, reflective activity that you do on your own or you can share what you’re grateful for with a close friend or family member or if you want to go even bigger start a gratitude circle with friends, coworkers or family members. Get creative and enjoy the benefits of expressing gratitude.

5. Practice 7 Happiness Habits

International Day of Happiness - 7 Happiness Habits

Make a conscious choice, choose happiness. Just as you make a choice to workout, to do your chores or to spend time with friends and family, make a conscious choice to be happy. Founder and CEO of Project Happiness, Randy Taran, has come up with 7 Happiness Habits that will uplift your outlook and ripple out to those around you. We challenge you to incorporate these habits into your everyday life. You can take on this challenge on your own or get your friends, family and coworkers on board. To make it easy, these 7 science-backed habits coordinate with the 7 days of the week:

  •       Mindful Monday
  •       GratiTuesday
  •       Wellness Wednesday
  •       Thoughtful Thursday
  •       Friday Freedom
  •       Saturday Social
  •       Soulful Sunday

Celebrate International Day of Happiness by increasing the happiness and well-being of yourself as well as others. Let’s work to create a happier world together!