I hope so ... because today is ... the International Day of Happiness !
This is not just something that some whacky person thought up on the spur of the moment to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's part of a growing recognition at the highest level that happiness is very important to the human condition and to the progress of our cultures and societies and even our economies.
It is the United Nations International Day of Happiness. Back in July 2011 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”. In other words, to progress as a global community it's not enough to have economic success. We should also be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing.
All 193 members of the UN adopted the resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority, and International Day of Happiness has been celebrated around the world since 2013. Every year a World Happiness Report is published on March 20th, which is always a great opportunity to see where YOUR country lies in the 'list' of happy countries, or not so happy nations, as the case may be.
But it's not just about governments. Happiness is down to each one of us. In ourselves and in our communities.
Every year on the International Day of Happiness, we're invited to take some positive steps to help create happiness. But perhaps THIS year it's even more important than before.
After the year we've had with the coronavirus pandemic, it's easy to feel rather depressed isn't it? Many of us have struggled with our mental health, what with all the lockdowns and personal and economic/business challenges we've experienced. Some of us have struggled to stay happy, and I think for some of us, our concept of happiness might have changed.
Maybe in the past we thought we were happy when we were travelling, going to parties, buying stuff, being recognised, having career success, promotion and status. Perhaps these days we're happy just with a walk in the countryside or on the beach. Seeing members of our family with whom we've have little contact for months. Just knowing we are staying safe and our loved ones are well. For me, these concepts and feelings have replaced much of the 'doing and having' happiness of the past.
And today, as we think about the International Day of Happiness, we've got lots of help to refocus our minds.
This year the group Action for Happiness, which is a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries supported by a partnership of like-minded organisations, is reminding us to Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind.
- Keeping calm will always take the pressure off. We're reminded that there are so many things outside of our control, but if we remember to focus on what really matters to us, the stresses may reduce.
- Making wise choices will help. We'll improve our own well-being and that of others around us if we choose positivity and positive thinking and actions, rather than negative ones.
- Yesterday we were thinking about being kind to each other. Action for Happiness also encourage us to keep in touch with others and reach out to help people in need. To 'stay connected'
Here are some more ideas from the International Day of Happiness website which has 10 great points to help us develop happiness, especially in these coronavirus times...
- Let's stick together (to beat covid)
- Follow World Health Organisation (WHO) advice
- Attend a Happiness Day event (virtually)
- Stay Social (online)
- Be Kind, share and say 'Thank you'
- Stay active and be mindful
- Be optimistic, positive and resilient
- Stay informed about facts and news
- Enjoy nature
- Adopt 'HAPPYTALISM' .. which is all about thinking of ways we can change systems to ensure we never again have such an awful pandemic. It's about looking at new economic models and, as the United Nations resolution encourages to do, to think of the well-being of people as much as we think about economic success
Don't you love that ... HAPPYTALISM rather than CAPITALISM?
On this International Day we have a whole 24 hours to think about happiness but hopefully, if we're just starting out on this journey, what we learn today will transform tomorrow and tomorrow's tomorrow.
And .. for those of you who know me well, you might have guessed already that I have song for you ... and it IS an obvious one. Love this song!
Happy International Day of Happiness !
We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.