A holiday called International Day of Happiness may sound a bit infantile to the uninitiated. Perhaps you’re imaging children singing “If you’re happy and you know it…” or people gleefully dancing under a smiling sun and rainbows. While you’re not entirely wrong — who doesn’t like a good sing-song session — the truth is there’s much more to this delightful day than just smiles and good vibes.
We celebrate International Day of Happiness thanks to the work done by the United Nations and its partner nonprofit group Action for Happiness, which is composed of people from 160 countries. The ultimate goal of the movement is to spread awareness that progress is not only about increasing bottom lines and encouraging economic growth, but well-being and human happiness as well. In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that made it a “fundamental human goal” to give happiness as much a priority as economic opportunity. Two years later, in 2013, all 193 member states of the UN celebrated the world’s first International Day of Happiness, and it has continued to grow since.
So as you listen to Pharrell on repeat, also take a minute this March 20 to consider what truly makes you happy, and how you can pursue it.
Happiness on a personal level can make any day better and can add great value to your life. However, what if happiness was applied on a global scale? How would that change the way the economy works or how societies function?
International Day of Happiness is the kind of holiday that aims to see the happiness on a global scale, encouraging others to spread happiness big and small and make radical changes to the way people view the world.
History of International Day of Happiness
International Day of Happiness has a huge global history regarding its creation and founding. It was introduced by Advisor Jayme Illien, CEO of the United Nations New Economic Paradigm Project and founder of happytalism.
The General Assembly of the United Nations agreed with this idea and proclaimed this day as International Day of Happiness back in July of 2012. According to the United Nations, this holiday recognizes the relevance of happiness as being an essential part of universal goals and aspirations when it comes to public policy.
Happiness can bring an inclusive, balanced approach to economic growth and can promote sustainable development, reduce, and bring about well-being for many people.
The resolution to the holiday was brought about by Bhutan, a country that adopted the idea of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product, hosting meetings and presentations at the sixty-sixth session at the General Assembly.
Today, the holiday is celebrated and hosted by various organizations, including Action for Happiness, Happinessday.org, and the United Nations. Through these websites, people can share their stories about what makes them happy, how their happiness contributes to their impact on the global economy.
Throughout the day, people share inspirational stories about how they inspire happiness in others, share the holiday logo, and post all over social media how happiness can make way towards a better future.
How to Celebrate International Day of Happiness
Celebrate International Day of Happiness by sharing what makes you happy. You can donate to a charity of your choice that promotes good deeds or share some social tools and resources from non-profit organizations and teach about happiness in your local school.
Another way to reach out is through social media. Social media is a powerful tool for this holiday because it can spread the word about all activity in the world within seconds.
If you feel that you’ve made an impact in your local community, share your story on social media using the hashtag #internationaldayofhappiness and tell your story about how you inspire others with happiness.