No less a body than the United Nations is behind The International Day of Happiness. In 2013, with ‘Article 2 of UN Resolution 66/281’ they invited “all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in appropriate awareness-raising activities.” I think it’s pretty safe to assume they mean all of us then.
“That’s all very well, but actually I’m tired / grumpy / sleep-deprived / overworked / cold / [insert your word here]”
Fair enough. I wouldn’t expect you to go from depressed to dancing because Ban Ki Moon fixed 20 March as the Day of Happiness. Just try a few small steps to make a start on smiling more – and frowning less. Try these resources.
1. Acts of kindness are a good place to start, and Professor Richard Wiseman’s quick tips video gives handy clues.
2. The Action for Happiness charity (patron: The Dalai Lama) has a downloadable ‘action calendar’ with no less than 31 simple steps to take. They’ve also got some handy facts, such as what influences our happiness.
3. Here’s something we can stop to raise our happiness levels… ban the binge watch. Yes, really. Dr John Kim writes how it’s all about the extent to which our leisure is active – or passive. The more active and engaging the activity, the more likely we are to find FLOW, a marker of happiness.
4. Research reported by BPS suggests how it’s possible to find happiness after major depression. “The single most important factor seemed to be having supportive relationships.” Other important factors were related to physical health, such as good sleep.
5. In her TED talk Carol Dweck, the author of ‘Mindset’ (highly recommended) talks about ‘the power of yet’.
6. Want to try a happiness quiz? The Pursuit of Happiness has a quick quiz that will help you weigh up your ‘happiness skills’.
7. Unum’s ’30 ways to make your employees happy’ infographic is full of common sense ideas – are they all common practice where you work?
8. Want to read more? You can download the World Happiness Report 2018, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
You may also find this post useful: ‘Mental health at work: 7 resources’
All images in this post by @LenaRo/DepositPhotos