On Friday, March 20th, we celebrate the first day of spring (yay!) and the third annual International Day of Happiness. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, International Day of Happiness recognizes, “the relevance of 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.”
Health and happiness go hand-in-hand. Research shows that, loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity and social isolation is as likely as smoking to cause an early death. Although we’ve become more connected digitally, we suffer from a lack of community and engagement with those around us. The International Day of Happiness is intended to bring attention to this issue by focusing on our relationships and connections with others.
This year’s theme, “Your happiness is part of something bigger” aims to demonstrate how even small interactions can make a positive impact to those around you. There are two ways that the Action for Happiness movement is suggesting one can support the cause and make new connections. Here’s how you can get involved:
- Join ‘Happiness Activists’ in cities around the world – ‘Positive Message Flash Mob’ groups are gathering in major cities around the world to connect with each other and spread the love.
- Make the world a more connected place by sharing inspiring personal messages with others using the #InternationalDayofHappiness hashtag.
Additionally, several international artists have teamed up with the United Nations to launch the #HappySoundsLike campaign to mark International Day of Happiness. United Nations Messengers of Peace and Goodwill Ambassadors, along with international artists such as Ed Sheeran, David Guetta, John Legend and James Blunt have contributed to create the world’s happiest playlist, launching on March 20th.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, “an act of kindness can improve confidence, control, happiness and optimism. It can also encourage others to repeat the good deed that they’ve experienced themselves – it contributes to a more positive community.” So, let’s all celebrate the day by practicing selfless acts of kindness.