Celebrate International Day of HappinessFriday, March 20, 2015 is the third annual International Day of Happiness as declared by the United Nations. 

It was inspired by the leaders of Bhutan who believe that the spiritual well being of citizens and communities is given as much importance as their material needs.

The United Nation’s International Day of Happiness is about focusing on your connections with others.

After years of happiness research, it has been proven that our connections with other people is of utmost importance to our happiness. In addition to figuring out how we can be happy, take some steps to connect with others making the world a happier place.

These seven tips to increase your happiness can be practiced today, The International Day of Happiness, and every day.

  1. Stay in the present. As you try to honor this day of happiness, resist the urge to dread the future, or regret actions from the past.
  2. Accept. Stop judging.  Worry less about what anyone is going to judge you for.  At the same time, when you look at another fellow human being, accept them for who they are. Try it for 10 minutes every day until you become a non-judging expert!
  3. Give a helping hand to someone in need. This could be as simple as sharing a smile, working with someone on their taxes, cooking food for a friend, paying for someone’s meal at the table next to you or at the drive-through window without them knowing it.
  4. Stay connected. Connect with people around you in person or through the mail if they do not live near you. Make at least one connection today and every day, that you would not normally make. Communicate that you care, or acknowledge their importance in your life. Connect with nature and to your natural rhythms without electronic devices. Take a walk in the woods, along the river or seaside.
  5. Be grateful.  When we put our attention on all the good in our lives, the good tends to increase.  Even when situations threaten to get us down, if we focus on the everyday things, the small blessings in our lives, we will find that happiness triumphs over depression and despair.  Recent research has shown that 5-10 minutes of journaling thoughts of gratitude and appreciation every day leads to an uplifted mood, greater energy, and fewer aches and pains. Buy that journal today.
  6. Create what you want. Find at least one thing you really want to do but have no idea how you’d finance it or find the time to do it. Then take the baby step! You can encourage others to go for what they want too, even if it’s scary.
  7. Inquire. When you have doubts, ask open-ended questions to yourself about the situations you face.  “How can I achieve a better outcome for myself?” instead of “Why does it always happen this way?” which inevitably leads to an unhealthy “Because I’m a failure, I can’t learn. I’m not educated enough.” Here’s to celebrating International Day of Happiness and la dolce vita, the sweet life!

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You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.