October 3, 2022

Celebrate International Day of Happiness

Celebrate this day because being happy is the most absolute desire in our life, our ultimate goal. Use any of the three ideas that I share in this article to get you started in your happiness path and remember you don´t find happiness, you create happiness, you´re either waiting or exploring. It´s simple, it´s easy and I guarantee will make your day happier.

Why celebrate?

But why not? We've all been through a chaotic year and as consequence happiness might be at its lowest point after the 180 degrees change our lives have experienced. Taking a day to prioritize happiness might just be the right way to stop and reflect on your life and your goals, appreciate and be grateful for what you have in your life and enjoy the present moment.

When the United Nations proclaimed the 20th of March the International Day of Happiness back in 2012, was based on the premises below:

  • The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human right;
  • Happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives;
  • The need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all people.

Therefore celebrating this day adds building blocks to the foundation of long-lasting happiness grounded in the well-being of all people across the globe. I’d like to invite you to celebrate the 9th edition of the International Day of Happiness and implement practices in your everyday life to help you prioritize happiness.

How to celebrate?

Alone, with family or with friends, this day is all about acknowledging the importance of happiness in our lives and the lives of those around us. Here are 3 ideas to get started:

1. Create and spread happiness

Happiness is not something that you find, it's something you can and have to create. Take 5 minutes to write a quick list of three things:

  1. One that makes you happy
  2. One that makes a family member or friend happy
  3. One that makes a stranger happy

Now start creating and spreading happiness for yourself, for family and friends and strangers.

  1. Walk in the forest
  2. Video calling my mum
  3. Volunteer to a kids cause

2. Practice gratitude

Appreciate what you have in your life and remember to share your gratitude with the people around you. One easy way to do this is to write a “Thank you” card. To make it easier, here is a structure you can use to make your thank you card impactful. This is a three-part appreciation that includes:

  1. Specific behavior: What was the contribution or behavior you appreciated?
  2. Impact: What was the impact on you or the situation?
  3. Character trait: How does this demonstrate a trait you admire in them?

Maria, thank you so much. (1) Yesterday, you spent three hours helping me with the big presentation I had to deliver today. You set aside your own work to help me. You listened patiently, delivered valuable feedback and helped me prepare for potential objections. (2) Maria, I want to let you know that what you did had a great impact on me. It helped me get past my fear, gain confidence and be better prepared for the meeting. Your support and your insights helped me feel connected and grateful for having you as part of the team. That was so helpful to me, personally. Also, it resulted in me being able to deliver a fantastic presentation that won us the customer, so thank you! (3) Maria, what you did not only had a great impact on me and the delivery of the presentation, but it reminded me of how generous, caring and giving you are. You are the true definition of a team player. I see that in you and I admire you.

3. Learn more about happiness

Take action to learn more about happiness. Positive psychology and the science of happiness have recently grown immensely giving us more knowledge than we ever had around what makes us happy. Start small, listen to a TED Talk, buy a book, read an article.

  1. Watch a video on happiness. Some personal recommendations are: (1) What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness, a TED Talk that reveals the results of a 75 years long Harvard study about the impact of our deep relationships, urging us to keep nurturing our relationships with family, friends and our community in general if we want to live a long healthy and happy life; (2) Happiness is all in your mind by Buddhist nun Gen Kelsang Nyema, an inspiring talk that persuades us to stop outsourcing our happiness to other people and focus on our mind and heart to foster long-lasting happiness; and (3) How to Be Happy Every Day: It Will Change the World by Jacqueline Way, for all people having children in their life. Focused on one objective: see her kids have a happy childhood; what started as a family activity has grown into a movement that inspires people and in particular children to give back every day.
  2. Buy/read a book on happiness. When it comes to books I will recommend three that I found extremely enjoyable and with a great number of actionable ideas. (1) A classic, The art of happiness by his holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler where spiritual tradition and western perspective are brought together to reveal how one can find happiness in everyday life. (2) Mindfulness: Living in the moment - Living in the breath by Amit Ray, who reveals how to apply mindfulness to everything that we encounter to be able to live long, healthy and happy lives. (3) Last but not least, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, the first book that I ever read on happiness and that has pushed me into creating my own happiness project. It was an eye-opening read that made me rethink how much thought and action I was putting into creating happiness for myself and the people around me.
  3. Read any of my articles on happiness (or any others): (1) The most important pandemic lesson for happiness: the importance of the now which focuses on the importance of enjoying living every day, enjoying the now and not dwelling on what was or waiting for what's to come. (2) How to live happy in the now: 10 things you can do every day, provides you with 10 easy things that you could introduce in your everyday life to enjoy the present moment. (3) How to live a happier life: set these 5 goals, is set to provide you with 5 overarching goals in life that will guarantee that you will prioritize the right goals in life and will live a fulfilled and satisfying life.

Lastly, as a celebration of this day, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network launches their 9th edition of The World Happiness Report which this year, discusses World Happiness during COVID-19 and how to deal with the effects of the pandemic. You can register for the launch event webinar scheduled for March 20th at 11:00 AM EST or just tune back in next week to get a summary of the highlights of this year's report in my next article.

Celebrate International Day of Happiness: 20th March 2021


Celebrate this day because being happy is the most absolute desire in our life, our ultimate goal. Use any of the three ideas that I share in this article to get you started in your happiness path and remember you don't find happiness, you create happiness, you're either waiting or exploring. It's simple, it's easy and I guarantee will make your day happier.

Ready for it? Let me know how will you celebrate the International Day of Happiness!

Written by Andreea Pap

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