March 20 is the International Day of Happiness, promoting happiness around the globe.
The International Day of Happiness reminds us to foster our own happiness, as well as the happiness of those in need. Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated this day. In honor of the day, the UN identified goals to end poverty, injustice, and environmental protection in an effort to improve the well-being of many lives.
How to Find Happiness?
- Help Others: Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the UN encourages all of us to end the suffering of others as a ways to increase our own happiness. Helping others through trying times can be such a meaningful experience. By helping others, we often help ourselves.
- Practice Gratitude: The daily practice of identifying what you are grateful for has been shown to improve well-being. You can start by identifying 3 things that you are grateful for, such as family, friends, and health. If you like to journal, make a gratitude journal. Try to expand what brings you gratefulness. For example, you may be grateful for your children every day, but how about being an American or the recently sprouted tulips in your garden?
- Increase Positive Emotions: Engaging in pleasurable activities can bring about a temporary state of happiness. Start by writing down 20 or more activities that bring you pleasure and try to engage in at least one of these activities every day. Some examples include getting a massage, taking a walk, listening to your favorite song, reading a book, eating your favorite food, or petting your dog. Still can’t feel happy? Try faking it. Even the act of smiling when you are feeling depressed or sad can actually trigger neurochemical changes that can alter your emotions.
- Live Your Values: Identifying and living according to your values will bring you a sense of fulfillment that fleeting moments of happiness cannot bring you. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychological therapy that helps you relieve suffering while focusing on what’s most important in your life. Working with an ACT therapist, such as Dr. Mazzei, you will identify your values and learn how to effectively manage negative emotions, such as depression, anxiety and anger.
To learn more about the International Day of Happiness: