Hey, I want to ask you a question… Are you happy? Before you answer that, take a moment and think about it. Similar to when someone asks you how you are, we tend to answer with a reflex,“good thanks” when in actual fact we could be feeling anything but. So if I ask you if you’re happy, your reaction is most likely going to be to say yes. However, if you stop for a moment and let that question resonate with you, allow your mind to wrap itself around the words and let your true state of happiness emerge, the answer might surprise you.
What is happiness anyway and can we truly define it? This concept has long been at the forefront of many an enquiring mind; scholars, philosophers, psychologists, scientists of human behaviour and pensive types the world over, all wanting to know what is ‘happiness’ and how we can achieve it. One might think happiness is something that simply ‘is’ and you ‘just go be it’ but it turns out it’s not that simple. Life is fast paced for most people, a society full of ambitious people all working furiously hard to achieve goals and help create this amazing world we live in. All that hard work brings incredible results however, the down side is that it could actually be making us unhappy. “Say what?” I hear you ask, well the state of the world’s mental health has become a progressively larger issue with an alarming increase in the incidence of depression, anxiety related disorders and substance abuse disorder, as well as the rate of suicide. Bleak statistics indeed and enough for authorities and organisations to take action.
Fundamental Human Goal
In fact, the degree of happiness in people’s lives around the world became such a ‘hot topic’ that the United Nations (UN) decided to address it. Back in 2011 the UN officially recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and resolved to implement strategies to promote happiness as an important part of the human experience. The following year the very first United Nations Conference on Happiness was hosted and from that, the International Day of Happiness was born, to be celebrated on the 20th of March each year. The very first International Day of Happiness was celebrated in 2013 and with the help of social media, saw people from all corners of the globe uniting to share their idea of happiness, sharing the UN’s ‘Action for Happiness Pledge’, “I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me”.
Furthermore, a website was established www.dayofhappiness.net to provide everyone with a resource to generate more happiness in their lives. The acronym G.R.E.A.T D.R.E.A.M stands for the following actions for happiness:
Giving – Relating – Exercising – Awareness – Trying Out
Direction – Resilience – Emotion – Acceptance – Meaning
Personally, as an aspiring Wellness Coach and an individual caught up in the fast lane with everyone else, I think this is an outstanding initiative. Do yourself a favour and download the free guidebook on the ‘Ten Keys to Happier Living’ and consider my earlier question, are you happy?
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my thoughts on each of the ‘G.R.E.A.T D.R.E.A.M’ keys for happiness so do stop by for more on that. For now I leave you with another question:
If joy became the national currency, what kind of work would you do to make you wealthy?
Until next time, always remember, true wealth is your own health.