International Happiness Day 2023
- Written by Eric North aka “The Happiness Warrior”
The International Day of Happiness was created in 2012 by the United Nations and a partner group composed of members from 160 nations called Action for Happiness.
The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate that progress is increasing worldwide not just economically but in quality of life and overall happiness.
For the first time ever, happiness became more than just a concept and became an essential part of the mission. They identified happiness as a “fundamental human goal” with just as much priority as economic achievement, increased equity, and quality of life.
In 2013 all 193 United Nations member states celebrated the world’s first International Day of Happiness. On that day a movement began, and it has continued to grow and spread ever since. I believe that as humans we are best when we are united and empathetic as one.
Happiness is the connection that brings us together and this project underscores the important role that happiness plays in our development as a unified humanity.
As The Happiness Warrior, I believe that happiness is more than just a fleeting feeling but a way of life, mindset, and attitude. Happiness is what drives us to be better and enjoy our lives more fully. It’s a basic human right that all of us deserve and seek. It’s the emotion that connects us as people and helps us see the bigger picture.
Happiness is something that I thought had I lost at one point in my life which only makes it resonate today with my full intention. As a warrior for happiness, I always tell myself aloud that “I like everyone”. It’s affirmation and one that has great power. It’s a deliberate mindset and attitude. It’s global and inclusive. It creates magic and has great power.
With this mindset each day can be a happy adventure and our interactions with others almost always fills us with laughter and purpose. It’s how we build community and make people feel noticed and heard. It’s how we help others actualize their lives and achieve authenticity. It’s the practice of respect for others and showing up for our lives. In a world with so many troubles, happiness is the way out of our problems and create more equality.
HAPPINESS IS SOMETHING WE NEED
Every one of us has a unique definition of happiness but we all know the way it makes us feel. It can be sublime at times to experience it alone. But there’s no denying that happiness explodes when we share it together. Happiness is about feeling content and confident with who we are without needing external approval. It radiates from within and always attracts others. It can set us apart and give us power and a voice to be heard.
Happiness is the catalyst that helps us change and adapt to the world around us with ease. It helps us to be ready for anything and explore our hidden powers. It’s relentless when we practice it fully. This is how we can create the lives we’ve only ever dreamed of.
HAPPINESS IS PERSONAL
I had lunch with my nineteen-year-old nephew recently. As a very proud uncle it’s natural for me to think that he’s an exceptional young man, every uncle would. But there’s something in Luke which is very special and unique to his spirit. From an early age as soon as he could walk he’s always been a helper with an innate and advanced sense of empathy. He has a gift to find anyone who’s struggling and has always been eager to help them find their way and feel good about themselves.
During lunch, I asked him why he was so confident and so ready for anything? “I’m always happy” in a strong voice that was so pure and innocent. It was such a profound statement that almost brought a tear to my eye. My nephew has already figured out the best way to live.
Luke has always been my progeny in the world, and I’ve kept a gentle guiding hand from his earliest years as he’s discovered who he is and found self-actualization. I’m moral and fair yet stern and stoic when appropriate. Above all, I never judge or shame and am always honest and supportive. We talk with honesty and ease. We both reveal our thoughts and never ask too much. Although we are many years apart in age we will always learn and grow together.
HAPPINESS IS HEALTH AND WELL BEING
When we are able to achieve greater happiness in our lives we not only feel better emotionally but we become better physically. Happier people share many of the same benefits and often amplify this feeling through their lives, family, and friends. They seek other happy people and take care of themselves better. Happy people make better choices, eat healthier, and are more likely to engage in physical and social activity. Happiness has even scientifically shown to improve the immune system. Happy people are more likely to:
1. Get seven or more hours of sleep. Lack of sleep and poor-quality sleep are both happiness killers. A nightly affirmation is a good practice to help to sleep soundly with a peaceful mind.
2. Engage in personal passion, hobby, or sport. Setting time aside for ways to be creative or challenge ourselves is critical to finding more happiness and balance in life. The are also more likely to volunteer.
3. Move their bodies. Exercise can come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities. As humans we are meant to move and explore our physical world. Considering others with disabilities and helping them is a meaningful experience that can raise our consciousness.
4. Spend time in and appreciate the beauty of nature. Find a park or even a small patch of green or tree that makes you feel joy. How does your mood change when the world is quieter?
5. Meditate or pray. I always feel there's a fine line between prayer and meditation. Seek the answers that you need and know that all knowledge comes from within.
6. Trust their inner voice and value the power of intuition. This is how we set things right and move forward through life with clarity.
7. Engage in social activities, smile, and share laughter. As humans we are better when we are comfortable and allow ourselves to be vulnerable with others. This is how we share our truths and raise happiness for all.
8. Spend time with family and learn where we come from. Connection with those we are closest to facilitates connection with others.
HAPPINESS EVERY DAY
As The Happiness Warrior, I believe that happiness is much more than an emotionally generated feeling. There’s no doubt in my mind that happiness comes from within but it’s bigger than us. It’s greater than our individual experience. Happiness is at its purest when it’s something we share. Sometimes happiness has great meaning when we’re alone but there’s an absolute joy that comes when we feel it as one.
We can all boost happiness by doing these easy activities:
1. Make a point to be social, life is short not to smile and feel the joy that comes from laughter and ease. As we learned during the pandemic, nothing replaces real human interaction!
2. Practice mindfulness and realize that we don’t know what other people are dealing with in their lives at any moment. Less judgment and more empathy are how we raise our vibration. This is how we change the world together.
3. Make a list of everything in your life that makes you feel content and happy. Often there’s much more than we realize. Take a moment to reflect and focus on gratitude and watch your happiness rise and brighten. It’s amazing how fast we can change our way of thinking.
With the right motivation and mindset, we can make International Happiness Day a way of life every day. We can be welcoming to others, stop judging, and step in and help those in need. We can be kind and empathetic to ourselves and others. We can choose to be happier throughout our lives when we stop judging both ourselves and others for being different.
We can be our best every day and be our happiest ever!