Written by Michelle Curry
The International Day of Happiness is an annual celebration aimed at helping people around the world to realise the importance of happiness in their lives.
It was established by the United Nations in 2011, and the first-ever International Day of Happiness took place in 2012. Taking place on March 20 every year, the International Day of Happiness is celebrated to recognise the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal.
On this day, is a chance to reflect on what makes you happy and explore new ways to be happy.
Here is what it takes to help you feel happy:
Being kind is important for our social well-being, physical health, and longevity. Many people have grown up with the golden rule of life, that you should treat others as you would like to be treated. Being kind to others makes us feel good but ensure you are also kind to yourself.
Keep friends close
Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. I challenge you to pick up the phone and call or text a friend right now! Do it! Friendship is an important part of a happy life; friends should always be there for you no matter what. Spending time with friends can also boost our self-esteem and make us feel more connected to others.
Physical activity stimulates the endorphins which are the “feel-good” chemicals, that leave you feeling happier and reduce stress. Exercise is the most effective instant happiness booster of all. Combine exercise with seeing family or friends and you get a double dose of happiness.
Regular expressions of gratitude promote optimism, which leads to better health and greater satisfaction with life. It can be as simple as saying thank you to the person that makes your coffee or writing a card to thank someone for their support and kindness. Being thankful is shown to make us more positive and can improve relationships. It also makes people feel appreciated and loved.
Holding a grudge can be harmful to your physical and mental health. It may keep you awake at night, or make you feel physically ill. It is important to acknowledge your emotions, however, when we forgive those who have wronged us, we feel better about ourselves. We release the control and power that the offending person had on your life.
Having the ability to pay attention to the important things in life and ignore the rest is a crucial survival skill. You may have heard of the word “mindfulness” which is a means of staying in the present moment. Instead of worrying about past experiences or have anxiety over the future, stop, take a few deep breaths, and focus your attention of what is happening in that exact moment.
Practicing mindfulness through meditation can lead to a stronger immune system and feeling less hostile and anxious. I highly recommend the free Smiling Minds app, I personally use this every day to practice mindfulness and to keep my mind happy.
What is something that makes you happy?