Happy International Day of Happiness! If you were wondering why you hadn’t heard of this until now, that is because the United Nations only declared last June that March 20 would be (in addition to Tunisia’s Independence Day and World Sparrow Day) the official day of happiness henceforth.
Despite the Hallmark-esque name, the UN had serious goals behind this move: to recognize that the pursuit of happiness is fundamental to humankind, to promote sustainable development through public awareness and education, and to balance economic growth with true wellbeing. You can read the UN’s specific recommendations in the World Happiness Report.
The point is that happiness comes with effort, so no one is expecting us to be instantly happy (declare today a statutory holiday, however…). With that said, there are many things you can do to be happier, such as:
- Reach out – helping others both on a personal and global scale benefits everyone
- Take up a worthy cause – contribute your time towards human or animal rights, environmental responsibility, health research, etc.
- Pursue higher education – the UN lists “education” as a main contributing factor to happiness
- Live healthier – eat better, move more, and deal with stress appropriately
- Use smartphones the smart way – ie. use technology to meet and connect with others, rather than being always “connected” or quitting cold turkey
- Be thankful – appreciate the good things in your life, especially good things others do for you
What do you think of the International Day of Happiness? Does the idea of it make you… happy?