International Day of Happiness

By Jade Corbett

What does it mean to be happy?

Happiness means something different to everyone, yet is absolutely essential and relevant to every aspect of life. In, the United Nations recognised the importance of happiness and well-being by designating 20 March as the International Day of Happiness.

 

Everyone has a right to be happy, and 20 March is a day to celebrate this right. To be happy is a universal goal shared in all four corners of the globe, yet sometimes we get so caught up in our lives we forget about what really matters. Why do we want to fall in love? It makes us happy. Why do we set goals and fight for our dream jobs? Essentially, to be happy. Even when someone’s aim in life is to become rich and famous, it’s because that is what will make them happy. In short, happiness makes the world go round. The official observation of the importance of happiness by the UN was initiated by Bhutan, a  country that had already been putting happiness first for years.

How is it celebrated?

For International Day of Happiness 2017, the UN and UNICEF collaborated with the Smurfs to create a campaign for universal happiness and well-being, which was centred around the Sustainable Development Goals.

The aim is to achieve these goals by 2030, and it’s an initiative that’s still very much up and running. On a smaller scale, thousands of people around the world participate in activities to celebrate happiness: in 2015 in London, United Kingdom, there was a flash mob (not the dancing type) promoting positivity, and in Cape Town, South Africa, hoards of people dressed and walked together holding signs covered in compliments.

One message that was highlighted loud and clear in 2018 was that happiness is there to be shared.

Happiness is multiplied, rather than diminished, when shared with other people, and something as simple as a compliment can brighten someone’s day.Moreover, this outlook should be carried on past International Day of Happiness. Whilst this designated day acts as a celebration, there is room every day of the year to look after your own happiness and well-being, as well as spreading the goodwill and positivity with both loved ones and strangers.

Another way you can do this is through volunteering.

There are places in the world that have a harder time experiencing happiness, and all of us have something valuable to offer that can help change that. Whether it’s through teaching children in Cambodia, or working in a mobile clinic in Africa, the joy and relief that volunteering brings really encompasses what this day is all about.

What’s more, fee-free volunteering with Indigo means that anyone can do it, it’s just a matter of applying. After all, it’s impossible to put a price on happiness. 

So, Happy International Day of Happiness. Treat yourself, have a good time with friends, or take part in an organised event, but whatever you do, make sure it makes you smile.