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International Day of Happiness

International Day of Happiness

If you’re happy and you know it, celebrate it on International Day of Happiness on March 20! Other than being in a neutral state, being happy is how we should mostly be. Unfortunately, emotions like anger and sadness are increasingly becoming a default way to be for a lot of us, so here’s a day to cheer up and appreciate the good things and silver linings in life.


A holiday called International Day of Happiness may sound a bit infantile to the uninitiated. Perhaps you’re imagining children singing ‘If you’re happy and you know it…’ or people gleefully dancing under a smiling sun and rainbows. While you’re not entirely wrong — who doesn’t like a good sing-song session — the truth is there’s much more to this delightful day than just smiles and good vibes.

We celebrate International Day of Happiness thanks to the work done by the United Nations and its partner nonprofit group Action for Happiness, which is composed of people from 160 countries. The ultimate goal of the movement is to spread awareness that progress is not only about increasing bottom lines and encouraging economic growth, but well-being and human happiness as well. In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that made it a “fundamental human goal” to give happiness as much priority as an economic opportunity. Two years later, in 2013, all 193 member states of the UN celebrated the world’s first International Day of Happiness, and it has continued to grow since.

So as you listen to Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ on repeat, also take a minute this March 20th to consider what truly makes you happy, and how you can pursue it.


1.Make it a point to be social

Humans are social creatures. If you’ve been putting off organizing a get-together with your friends, or have said “no” to going out a bit too much recently, try reversing this trend. Go out, laugh, have fun, and don’t take your day so seriously, and you may find your stress levels drop and stay low from this one interaction. Smiling and laughing are among the best methods for relieving tension, and best of all, they’re free!

2.Get informed

Stress and unhappiness due to work, the economic situation, fears over health and safety and myriad other factors can be a heavy weight around anyone’s neck. But by doing a little reading on well-being, mindfulness, and other ways to get in touch with what’s most important, you may start to grab a new outlook on life.

3.Make a list

One of the best ways to experience contentedness is also one of the simplest: Make a list. Specifically, jot down five things that truly make you happy. And think hard about this. Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix venture may be fun, but does it truly bring you happiness? Once you’ve written down five things, be sure to include at least one of them, in some form, in your everyday life. This way, the effects of the International Day of Happiness can go on all year.


A. Happiness isn’t a given

The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 300 million people are currently living with depression, while countless more are facing an undiagnosed lack of happiness in their lives. With mounting pressure to succeed in a fast-paced, globalized society, many aren’t taking their well-being seriously, which can have serious effects on an individual as well as their surroundings. It’s time to put happiness in the spotlight

B. Smiles are healthy

There have been several studies linking something as simple as smiling to improved mood, less stress, and greater amusement. What’s more, these reactions lead to more smiling, creating a positive cycle. So on International Day of Happiness, even if you have to fake a smile, science says the positive effects you’ll soon be feeling are real.

C. It’s contagious

Studies have found that improving the mood of others around you may be as simple as improving your mood. By looking at what is shared most online and what “goes viral,” researchers have discovered that positive, happy, and funny posts are shared far more than negative ones. In this exponential growth cycle, a single uplifting message in one country could raise the spirits of an entire population in another. All you have to do is spread the word!


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