All 193 United Nations member states last year adopted a resolution decreeing March 20 to be the first International Day of Happiness. To celebrate, people all around the world are bringing happiness to others and talking about it on social media networks.
The creation of the International Day of Happiness followed the first ever UN conference on Happiness and Wellbeing in July 2012, and its World Happiness Report which called on member states to place a greater focus on the happiness of their citizens and to “promote happiness as a universal goal and aspiration in the lives of human beings around the world.”
“People are now recognizing that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy at all costs,” says the official UN website, DayofHappiness.net.
Creating a happier society requires action at all levels – not just from political leaders and institutions but also from us as individual citizens.
But how to do it? Scientists in the field of positive psychology are leading the way by discovering how people can boost their well-being and happiness. More studies every year confirm that one way to increase your own happiness is to bring positive emotions to others. Giving always brings forth receiving in the happiness equation. Positive Psychology News shares the latest research and papers.
Twitter users are writing short homages to their #HappyHeroes, publicly naming those who spread happiness even in small ways. Stephanie (@Dfovs08) tweeted, “One of my #happyheroes is my mum who recovered from a #stroke and also Karl @WorkHappyNow who brings inspiration and smiles.”
Olympic and community heroes were honored today at a House of Lords gold medal ceremony in which the winners gave away their medals naming their own Happy Heroes.
A UK campaign, Action for Happiness, was launched by Lord Richard Layard, who edited the first World Happiness Report for the UN and rated the tiny country of Bhutan as happiest nation in the world. His website offers ideas and resources for making yourself and others happier.
Events in 20 countries are taking place tomorrow:
- Happathon – a global hack for happiness – in New York City, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Oslo, Tokyo, London and Bogota, to launch a 12-month project to globally crowdsource a vision for the Happiness Economy
- Handing out plantable seeded paper with inspirational quotes at lunchtime in London’s Square Mile
- Happiness-related film screenings in UK, Peru, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Italy, and India, especially the documentary, Happy.
- Interactive events include a positive message flash mob at Liverpool Street station, laughter in Hong Kong, and free hugs in Washington DC! (More on www.dayofhappiness.net/take-part)
Who is your “Happiness Hero? Tell us who makes you happy in the Comments below…And SHARE this story on Facebook with the FB button at the top of the page, and share on Twitter using hashtag #HappyDay.