The International Day of Happiness was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 and is celebrated around the world on March 20th. According to the United Nations, the day was introduced to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. The original idea came from the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayan region of Asia. There, the population is thought by many to be among the happiest in the world due to the holistic approach to life and the amount of importance which is placed on the well-being of people and communities, as much as material wealth.
International Day of Happiness is designed to be a reminder that happiness does not necessarily come from buying and consuming or being famous and glamorous. True happiness often comes from relationships with friends, family and oneself.
According to the official Day of Happiness website, this year’s theme is ‘Happier Together, focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us.’
With that in mind, here are 5 things you can do to celebrate International Day of Happiness this year:
1. Give A Compliment To A Stranger: According to Happify: ‘Compliments don’t just make others feel great. They also enhance our own self-confidence. Giving a genuine compliment requires us to look for the good in others. In doing so, we also start to see the good in ourselves. We realise that we are all on the same journey together and that each of us has value to share with the world. Seeing the good in others has another powerful benefit. By appreciating and respecting others, we become a magnet for their reciprocated love.’ So, on March 20th, surprise and delight someone by taking a moment to recognise them.
2. Be Kind To Yourself: One sure way to boost your happiness is to be kind rather than critical to yourself. If you do anything on International Day of Happiness, make it this; recognise your good qualities and give yourself a compliment.
3. Host a ‘Happiness Dinner’: Invite friends and family to a meal on March 20th, whether it’s at a restaurant, home-cooked or a takeaway. Use this time to strengthen your relationships and remind yourself of the happiness that comes from spending time with others.
4. Say Hello To People You Usually Wouldn’t: Every day, we pass people and don’t take the time to acknowledge their presence. On International Day of Happiness this year, smile and say hello to at least three people you usually wouldn’t; whether it be the security guard at your building, a pedestrian, or the man that comes in to fill the vending machine with tasty treats.
5. Have Lunch With A Co-Worker: If you’re the type of person who spends lunch alone or with the same person or group of people, switch it up on International Day of Happiness and invite a member of your team who you don’t really engage with to lunch.