International World Happiness Day: The pursuit of happiness

Happiness – a feeling that motivates us to be better people. Our bodies are wired for it. Nothing compares to the joy of being surprised out of the blue with fresh flowers and chocolate. Maybe happiness means snuggling under freshly changed linen at the end of a long day. Or it may be a compliment from a stranger, which is sure to put a smile on your face!

Happiness is an emotion we enjoy feeling. When we are happy, our immune system gets a boost, our anxiety and stress levels lower, and our quality of life improves.

It’s no wonder that the United Nations has created an International Day of Happiness, on 20 March every year, to promote the wellbeing of humankind. It’s a day that creates awareness of happiness as a basic human goal. It’s our chance to take happiness seriously.

But that’s easier said than done, especially with the times we find ourselves in. Practicing happiness is not as simple as it might once have been, and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of ways to make happiness part of our daily routine:

  • Play some music: Music makes us feel better. The classic Don’t Worry, Be Happy, a simple whistle and hum song by Bobby McFerrin, has been a theme song for many over the years. Those four simple words give us a motto to live by. Some research shows that listening to upbeat music for two weeks is enough to release our “happy hormone” (dopamine) and boost both health and happiness.
  • Share your peak and pit of the day: This is a great way to look for the good in each day. Over dinner with loved ones, share both the best and worst parts of your day. Trying to find the peak in each day will help develop a positive mindset while recognising the pit helps us acknowledge that life is full of ups and downs, but we have the strength to bounce back.
  • Laughter is the best medicine: Laughter has many benefits. It unites us and improves our overall health! Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a comedian every time you need a laugh – start small. Putting a smile on your face first thing in the morning can set the tone for the day, even if you fake it before you make it. Our brains won’t know the difference!
  • The joy of giving: Volunteering time to a community in need, or donating old clothes to a charity, produces the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high”. In fact, two hours per week is the recommended amount of time to dedicate towards helping others in order to enrich our lives.
  • Spend more time outside: Sometimes a walk to the park can help us ditch our blues. It’s often said that spending 20 minutes outdoors can boost our mood and improve our wellbeing.