Today is the United Nations second International Happiness Day; celebrated around the world, it is a day when everyone is encouraged to think about the things that make them happy and what they can do in their own lives to improve their happiness, and the happiness of those around them.
When the day was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2012 it was stated that the UN was:
"Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. Recognising also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples..."
Today newspapers, charities and businesses are all joining in Happiness Day activities and celebrations. Some are reporting only good news stories, whilst others are posting 'feel-good' videos to spread happiness to all.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have been flooded with different images which stir up that happy feeling within us and we couldn't help but join in with our favourite happy picture; taken yesterday, a super smiley group at a ubu party. (Top right)
To find out more about International Happiness Day dive down to the next page...
Our top ten tips to being happy...
1. Friends. For some, getting friends isn’t always easy. But, everyone needs someone that they can talk to. Finding friends can be as simple as chatting with others in a support group or joining a book club at a local library; getting involved with local projects or volunteering at a place you enjoy visiting.
2. Take care of your health. Your health is very important. Be sure to put yourself first once in a while, especially when it comes to your health. Attend all of your scheduled medical appointments, make sure to schedule ones that are easily forgotten and pay attention to your diet. People who are unhappy tend to eat “comfort foods” that are high in salt or sugar, which may lead to gaining a few unwanted pounds.
3. Peace of mind. Having peace may require that you to make changes in your life so that you don’t feel stressed out. For example, letting your housecleaning go can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Organizing and planning can help eliminate some of this stress. Try to spend 15 minutes a day cleaning.
4. Move about. Alongside keeping check of you health doing a little exercise everyday can do your physical and mental health a world of good. Dancing, a trip out to the park or a spot of swimming will help to release chemicals to our brains called endorphins, which make us feel good.
5. Save a little where you can. With the rising cost of utilities and food, it can be very difficult to make ends meet. If you’ve never made a budget before, creating one may help you evaluate what are necessities, and what aren’t. Helping you to work out how much you can save for that special treat.
6. Secure surroundings. Living in a welcoming home, a friendily neighborhood with people around you who respect and care for you is vital to your happiness. Sometimes we have to make changes in our lives to feel secure in our environment, although change can be scary it is important to make sure that you have a good living environment.
7. Have hope. Having hope means that you believe things can always get better and improve. Sometimes it is easy to just throw up our hands and give up on the thing that is frustrating us, but when we have hope we can still achieve. Setting goals to better yourself is an important tool
8. Value yourself. Understand that you, whoever you are, are a valuable and important part of society. You have skills and abilities. You may just be able to do something that no one else can!
9. Hobbies. Having a hobby or activity can bring so much joy into your life. From model building to dog walking there will be a hobby for you. So if you have't found it yet, get out there and try different activities until you find what's right for you.
10. Be Yourself!
Today UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave this quote to describe why International Happiness Day is important:
"Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live."
The charity: Action for Happiness has conducted some research throughout the day to find out what people think matters most; 'Money & Stuff' or 'Happiness & Wellbeing'. The research has concluded that less than 10% of people believe money and possesions are more important, with 87% preferring to live in a society of happiness rather than wealth.
Swim on to the next page to read some of the things that makes us happy...