From Global Happiness to Personal Tips

Shutterstock_Rawpixel_happinessBy Keeley Gould

The first day of spring wasn’t the only thing to be celebrating recently although saying goodbye to winter did cause reason for merriment. World Happiness Day coincided with the beginning of spring so maybe it wasn’t a coincidence if you have been feeling extra chipper lately.

A day to celebrate being happy

World Happiness Day was founded in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly and was the result of the effort of United Nations adviser Jayme Illien, who came up with the idea for a U.N. Resolution because he believes in the pursuit of happiness as a human right and a “fundamental human goal.”

This year marks the fourth celebration of the delightful day and the fourth annual World Happiness Report was released which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels.

10 happiest countries

The update finds the top 10 countries to be the same as in the 2015 report, but the order has changed yet again. Sadly, the US isn’t as happy as the 12 countries ahead of us, but we did move up two spots higher than last year.

The reports have been growing in popularity which reflects growing global interest in using happiness and subjective well-being as primary indicators of the quality of human development. Thanks to the increasing interest, policies that support better lives have been put into place all over the world.

“Measuring self-reported happiness and achieving well-being should be on every nation’s agenda as they begin to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. “Rather than taking a narrow approach focused solely on economic growth, we should promote societies that are prosperous, just, and environmentally sustainable.”

What makes people happy?

Self-reported happiness can be attributed to your relationships with your family and friends. According to a long running study out of Harvard, a major factor that had a strong impact on happiness was supportive relationships where both parties could lean on each other for support.

Which country is number one?

Denmark regained its top spot at number one after dropping to third place in 2015. It was number one in 2013.

Tips for becoming a happier person

Happiness is something that shouldn’t be recognized and celebrated once a year but something that should be worked on every day. Dr. Ken Verni, author of Happiness the Mindful Way, feels one can achieve happiness through mind focus and meditation can help achieve happiness. The book is published by DK Publishing, part of Penguin Random House.

Paying attention to the present moment is helpful in creating happiness. “Shifting our focus away from the negative, toward the positive, we can free ourselves from some of the deliberating thoughts and feelings linked with ill-health,” Dr. Verni said. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with us, we should be focusing on what is right with us.

Here are some tips to make every day a happy day based on Verni’s methods:

1. Think about what happiness means to you and just do it.
2. Accept what you cannot change by learning ways to deal with that.
3. Acknowledge your emotions and embrace them instead of running away from them.
4. Recognize your bad habits and learn to break them.
5. Turn off autopilot mode and try new things.

If you missed World Happiness Day this time around, don’t worry, you have until March 20, 2017 to practice breaking your bad habits, your stress, and accept what cannot be changed. By taking the tips from Verni’s book, soon every day will be your own personal World Happiness Day!

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