Yesterday was the International Day of Happiness. It might seem incongruous to be celebrating happiness in the midst of so much trauma and strife, however the purpose of the day is to remind us all that our actions matter. Happiness is something that is within our control, not something that just randomly happens to us. This campaign is a global celebration lead by the United Nations and coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries.
A profound shift in attitudes has been underway all over the world for the last decade Human happiness is now a metric of how well a country is performing, sitting alongside economic measures.
Everyone has their own definition of happiness, or things that make them happy, which is why there are no set rules for the day just some guidelines. Happiness is about authenticity, so there’s no need to try and force something you’re not feeling. The day is an opportunity and an invitation to really think about what makes you happy, and then encouraging you to do it!
This year Action for Happiness have suggested three ways that you can get involved:
Share Positive Messages
It’s easy to get sucked into the doom and gloom news spiral and fixate on making sure everyone else knows the bad news. Consider for a moment what life might be like if you instead spread good news? Promoting kindness, peace and understanding to other people can not only make them feel good; it will make you feel good too!
Connect with People
Sometimes we feel powerless when a situation is happening and we do nothing. This is especially common when there’s been an accident or a bereavement. People think “Oh, I don’t want to intrude”. Even if you feel a little awkward, push yourself to reach out. Offer your care and support and notice the shift you feel inside. Taking an action can be empowering and help you feel like you’re more in control of what’s going on.
Did you know that volunteering can boost both your mental and physical health? If you’re in a place, physically and mentally, where you’re able to volunteer, you might find that it boosts your mood. Even making a small donation to a charity that’s doorknocking, putting an extra pack of pasta in your trolley to go to the foodbank, or buying a homeless person a cup of coffee can give you a significant mood boost.
We all know that the cost of living is increasing, and there’s more and more demand for charities and other services, so if you’ve got the time and resources maybe you could take the plunge and support services as they step up to meet the growing demand.
Happiness is a fickle feeling. It comes when we are living in alignment with the values that are important to us, rather than being dependent on the presence or absence of something specific. Give yourself a challenge to be open to new people and experiences, step out of your comfort zone to bring a little joy and attempt to bring yourself back to the present moment.
Happiness isn’t a given. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people are currently living with depression, and countless others are facing an undiagnosed lack of happiness in their lives. Many people don’t take their well-being seriously, instead focusing on making sure their performing well eonomically. This can have serious effects on an individual as well as their surroundings. It’s time to put happiness in the spotlight!
Here at the NCH we know that times can feel hard. Some people will benefit from additional support to help them manage anxiety, stress, resurfacing trauma and feelings of isolation. Talking therapies have been proven to help relieve anxieties, stress and depression and hypnotherapy can provide targeted and compassionate support. The NCH has over 2,000 qualified therapists across the UK who are here to support you.