International Day of Happiness takes on a whole new meaning with the amount of coronavirus cases increasing each day. As many Americans are sheltered in place, working from home or have been told to stay indoors, our wellness, both mentally and physically will be challenged. There are many ways that you can celebrate now and after this special day has passed. Remember, happiness should be celebrated 365 days a year. Okay, maybe there is a bit too much optimism from this writer, but let’s try to do our part.
There is no better place to start by having a positive impact than by creating happy acts with your family, friends and coworkers. Being happy at home with yourself, your spouse, your children or roommates makes up half of your life. The other half of your life is spent working for others outside the home. Both, personal happiness and workplace happiness can be created by you and can be infectious (in a good way).
Research shows that happiness is a skill that can be taught and learned. It is a preconceived notion that happiness is either inside our DNA or is isn’t. This is simply not the case. Whether you are the teacher or the one being taught, the ideas below might help you accomplish both. Some can be used now and others can be reserved for better days ahead. I hope to inspire you to take some of these ideas on this special day and put a smile on someone’s face for the upcoming 2020 International Happiness Day. If not on March 20th, than any day of the year qualifies you as a certified Happy Expert as long as you bring happiness to others in one fashion or another.
Action for Happiness
Tips for Being Happy
- Be Happier – Improve Mental Clarity with a Bullet Journal: This is a great idea whether it’s for home or work. To do this, get yourself a blank journal and let the ideas flow. Bullet points are easy to read and check boxes make you feel accomplished which, in turn, creates a happy state of mind. Not big on writing? No problem there! Bullet Journal stamps offer you a simple way to be creative in a short amount of time so you can enjoy the process of organization. Get inspired with your meal planning, spring cleaning, to-do lists and many other activities. Doing things to improve your mental clarity, like bullet journaling and organizing your life, has been shown to improve happiness!
- Boost Happiness & Surround yourself with positive people: Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, surrounding yourself with happy people will be an instant mood booster and will improve your well being and mental health. Keep in touch with your friends and family via the phone or video chat while we cruise through this pandemic.
- Treat others the way you would want to be treated: This should be self-explanatory.
- Kind Acts Bring Joy!: There is nothing more rewarding than doing a random act of kindness. Something as simple as buying a stranger’s lunch when they least expect it can create happiness for you and for the receiving person. Buying lunch for someone in the military in uniform to say “thank you for serving our country” is one of the most ways to boost your happiness. Keeping non-perishable snacks in the car while driving is another way to put a smile on a face by handing a homeless person something to eat when they are panhandling at a stop light.
- Volunteer your time to Stay Happy: Are you passionate about certain things? Animals, Our American Heroes (Military, Veterans, Paramedics, Firefighters, etc.), Hunger, Schools and others? There are thousands of non-profit organizations that accept volunteers to help wherever they can. This is both rewarding to you and those lives you directly or indirectly change.
- Donate to your favorite charities: Do your homework and donate to legitimate charities by researching the organization thoroughly. There is so much love to give year round to many organizations who help others every day. It seems we give more during a holiday, but that should be only a reminder.
- Be Happy by Being a real friend: A real friend supports those they love no matter what life brings to them; good or bad.
- Download a Happiness APP on your I-Phone or Android. There are many APPS out there that can give you daily “nudges” with action ideas every day providing you with inspirational messages. They also help you connect and share ideas with like-minded people.
- Spread Happiness on social media: Hashtags are a great way to push your positive messages to the masses on social media. #InternationalDayofHappiness, #happiness, #happinessday, #happypeople, #personalhappiness, #happyacts and #happierplace are just a few examples you can use when posting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Team Lunches Make People Happy: Take your team to lunch as a big thank you for a job well done or getting the gang together to break away from the normal day to day could help boost moral. Go “Dutch” if you have to.
- Create a potluck and have everyone bring in a dish to celebrate happiness at work. Potluck is another great way to bring camaraderie to your home or work place. At home, it is great to get friends together and have a game night. The host isn’t put out by preparing all the food and everyone will have a great time. In the workplace, a potluck could provide an opportunity of having different ethnic foods to share among your co-workers.
- Give a card or gift: Make someone’s day feel special by giving them something as simple as a piece of chocolate and a hand written note telling them how special they are.
- Facetime or Video Chat to Boost Happiness: Friends and family can boost your happiness and bring you into the present moment. Give them a load of your happy spirit even when you can’t be with them via a Zoom call or Facetime. To take a break from a stressful work day, step outside and Facetime a lifelong friend to cheer each other up.
- Hugs are important! While this is not a recommendation during the coronavirus outbreak, a simple hug can brighten someone’s day, especially if they are feeling blue. Save this one for next year!
When is International Day of Happiness?
International Day of Happiness is just around the corner, celebrated each year on March 20th. After recognizing a need for change in policies to make the world a better place, on July, 12, 2012, The General Assembly of the United Nations declared March 20th the official day of celebration worldwide. The first International Day of Happiness was celebrated the following year in 2013. The International Day of Happiness’ theme for 2020 is “Happiness For All, Forever”. Seems simple, right?
In 2015, the United Nations launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with the purpose of ending poverty, reducing inequality and protecting our planet. These three key aspects lead to happiness and well-being of the human race.
- No poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good health and well being
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Clean water and sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Reduced inequalities
- Sustainable cities and & communities
- Responsible consumption and production
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life above water
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
While we don’t all have the resources to change the world as one person, every little thing we do that makes a positive impact, one goal at a time will change the world to be a better place to live.
World Happiness Report
According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, “negative feelings are rising around the world – and the United States is particularly hard-hit with an “epidemic of addictions.” Countries are ranked based on their life satisfaction in the Gallup World Poll. Last year, Finland was the most satisfied country, with Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Netherlands leading the top 5. Canada was #9 and the United States ranked #19 moving down one spot from the year before. Read the full article here.
The outcome of the 2020 World Happiness Report will may change these rankings drastically. Stay tuned!