International Happiness Day is Here!
Believe it or not there is an International Happiness Day and it is and always will be celebrated on March 20. The General Assembly of the United Nations approved the international day on June 28th of 2012 to encourage all people to celebrate their human rights, know the pleasure of peace, and for all people to focus on actions that create and support a sustainable development within their land.
So what do you think Happiness Looks Like for your world neighbor? and What do our neighbors think it looks like for us in the United States? Have you ever taken the time to ask your family and friends about happiness? Is it based on monetary wealth, safety of home, healthy food and drink to live by? Or do the answers come from within ourselves rather than from the outside shopping malls and fast-food chains?
According to positive psychology research by Dr. Martin Seligman (Flourish, 2011), those who do flourish in their lives have been successful in focusing on 5 elements to live life well. These five elements commonly referred to as PERMA consist of:
- Positive Emotion – being active in things that bring feelings of satisfaction and joy
- Engagement – participating in “flow like” interactions and hobbies or commitments
- Relationships – people matter, enjoying the energy and support of friends/family
- Meaning – belonging to and serving something that is larger than one’s self
- Accomplishments -achieving or winning for one’s own sake of being the best
PERMA for the most part describes someone who is thriving in a way to feel positive and create a happiness for the self which may affect others – but the measuring line is not against society or another world culture it is subjective to each person. In terms of accomplishment, one person’s achievement may bring no joy to the outside world, yet it is what that achievement brings to the person that matters.
Celebrate International Happiness Day by focusing on PERMA elements within your life and allow the space for others in your circle to do the same. Think about it? If everyone in the world actually stopped for one day to only focus on what brings personal happiness, be it other people, passions, playtime, or peace, what energy would we feel across the globe and how would we follow up on March 21.
Enjoy a day of happiness – everyone in the world will be celebrating with you!
Resources to check out from organizations that are spreading happiness in education and everyday life around the world are the International Positive Education Network (ipen), HappyActs.org, and action for happiness.