It’s International Happiness Day!! Spread Happiness Everywhere!Paul Reyburn
This Friday, March 20, has been delegated International Happiness Day by the UN.
Explaining the thinking behind the day, UN adviser Jayme Illien said: ‘During Happiness Week, and especially on the International Day of Happiness, we take time to create and act on opportunities for all of us to achieve Happiness.’
If you could do with a pick-me-up to get you out of the doldrums, any one of these 10 could be worth trying out.
Even if you don’t feel like smiling, slapping a fake grin on to your face can have enormous benefits. When you smile your brain releases endorphins, which make you feel happier, more relaxed, and can even relieve pain.
2. Watch something funny
Feeling miserable at work? Take a few minutes to find something that makes you laugh on YouTube. Cat videos galore! Laughing babies! Laughter has the same endorphin-triggering effect as smiling, it improves your mood instantly – and it can even help prevent heart disease, which is surely something to be happy about.
3. Stand up straight
Studies have revealed that posture can have a major effect on your state of mind. If you slouch, you’re more likely to feel gloomy and lacking in energy. Sitting or standing up straight, on the other hand, is more likely to result in a positive state of mind. Adopt a ‘powerful’ pose, and it’ll make you feel happier and more confident.
4. Listen to some uplifting music
At least one study has proved that listening to an upbeat song can lift your mood. There’s a catch though – it’ll only work if you’re deliberately trying to make yourself happier – if it’s just on in the background it won’t have the same effect.
As part of International Day of Happiness the UN is running a social media campaign under the hashtag #HappinessSoundsLike, which is unearthing all manner of cheerful tuneage. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon himself recommends a cheering blast of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to get you going!
5. Go for a brisk walk
It’s well documented that exercise boosts your mood. However, if you’re struggling to make it to the gym, and the thought of jogging makes you deeply miserable, why not start with something a bit less ambitious; get yourself into the fresh air for a stroll around the block.
6. Hang out with an animal
Psychologists report that pet owners tend to be fitter, less lonely, more socially outgoing – and happier – than those without regular animal contact. Of course, this all makes perfect sense. Who could ever be truly unhappy when there’s one of these around?
7. Create something
You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. Taking up any kind of creative pursuit, whether it’s drawing, sculpture, gardening, cooking, building websites etc – can seriously boost your happiness.
8. Read something absorbing
When’s the last time you read something so involving you didn’t want to put it down? Forget about reading to improve or educate yourself (for a while) – instead, find yourself a book you’ll want to race through.
Meditation can be hugely beneficial for your physical and mental health, but you don’t have to go on a retreat and sit cross-legged for hours to find this out. Find somewhere quiet where you can sit comfortably, and then just focus on your breathing for few of minutes. It could do you the world of good.
10. Do something selfless
‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,’ said Mahatma Gandhi – and science indicates that he might have been on to something. The Mental Health Foundation says ‘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.’