Celebrating World Happiness Day

March 20th is the International Day of Happiness. It is the day the world recognizes the importance of happiness in our lives. First celebrated in 2013, the International Day of Happiness brings awareness to happiness as a fundamental human goal and highlights the importance of happiness and well-being as an aspiration for people all around the world. With our world facing unprecedented challenges, wellbeing matters more than ever. Let’s make this years Happiness Day count!

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” — Dalai Lama

Being happy is certainly not just about feeling good. Happiness relates to how we feel, but it is so much more than just a mood. Humans are emotional beings and experience a wide range of feelings each day. Negative emotions, such as fear and anger, help us to get away from danger or defend ourselves. Positive emotions, such as enjoyment and hope, help us to connect with others and cope with challenging situations. Research shows that happiness makes us healthier, more productive and nicer. Happiness could in fact be the key to success and people who are happier are more likely to make a positive contribution to society.


Living a happy life is not about denying negative emotions or pretending to feel joyful and happy all the time. To suggest otherwise would be to deny part of the human condition. We all encounter adversity and it’s completely normal for us to feel negative emotions such as anger, sadness and frustration as a result. Happiness is about being able to make the most of the good times, but also to deal effectively with the inevitable bad times, in order to experience the best possible life overall.


“Happiness is a deep sense of flourishing, not a mere pleasurable feeling or fleeting emotion but an optimal state of being.” — Matthieu Ricard

What can we do in order to find happiness in our everyday life and how can we deal with life’s challenges from a place of love and joy rather than from a state of negative emotions? We have a list of small habits that can transform your life!


Smile

You tend to smile when you’re happy. But it actually works both ways. We smile because we’re happy, and smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier. The next time you find yourself feeling low, crack a smile and see what happens. You can also try starting each morning by smiling at yourself in the mirror.


Eat with a happy mood

Food choices have an impact on your overall physical health. But some foods can also affect your state of mind. Carbohydrates release serotonin, a “feel good” hormone. Lean meat, poultry, legumes, and dairy are high in protein. These foods release dopamine and norepinephrine, which boost energy and concentration. Highly processed or deep-fried foods tend to leave you feeling down. Be mindful when eating and see food as a way of nourishing your body rather than a way to change your mood.


Cultivate gratitude

Being grateful can give your mood a big boost of feeling hope and happiness. Start each day by acknowledging one thing you’re grateful for. As your day goes by, try to keep an eye out for pleasant things in your life. They can be big things but they can also be little things. Maybe even just the warmth of the sun on your skin on a nice day.

Give a compliment

Performing small acts of kindness can help you feel more satisfied. Giving a sincere compliment is a quick, easy way to brighten someone’s day while giving your own happiness a boost. Catch the person’s eye and say it with a smile so they know you mean it. You might be surprised by how good it makes you feel.


Breathe deeply

Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress.The next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed follow the steps below:

Breath in: may I be happy

Breath out: and live with meaning, connection and calmness

Breath in: and a playful, grateful and joyful heart

Breathe out: may we be happy