Simple tips to be happier
International Day of Happiness has only been celebrated for the last few years, exactly since 2013. The year before, the United Nations issued a decision laying the foundation stone for International Day of Happiness: happiness is something that everyone wishes for, which includes (or should include) well-being and good quality of life. In establishing this day, the main idea was to keep economic growth in line with inclusion and equality. To make this development sustainable and to gradually eradicate poverty. The introduction of the International Day of Happiness was largely due to the state of Bhutan, which uses Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product as an indicator of economic prosperity.(1)
The most important stimulus came from a United Nations adviser, a gentleman named Jayme Illien. After growing up in one of Mother Teresa's orphanages and being adopted by an American family, his great desire was to end inequality in the world, and he made a significant effort to establish this International Day of Happiness.(2)
Every year has a theme, a way for each of us to actively contribute to making us all happier. Since we have been fighting a pandemic for more than a year, the theme for 2021 supports caring for others and oneself as a necessary part of building personal resilience. So the three main recommendations for being happier in 2021 include these simple yet effective tips:
- Be calm. We cannot control many things, but there are still those that we have under our control. Staying calm and distinguishing between what is and what is not important certainly helps.
- Stay informed. When we are well informed, we can make sensible decisions. And making sensible decisions involves being optimistic and supporting the people around us.
- Be kind, amicable. This difficult time has also brought one interesting knowledge - we are all in this together, a pandemic makes no difference. Kindness in relationships helps both parties - both the one who gives it and the one who receives it. (3)
Scientists are still researching how people can achieve a sense of happiness. There are countless studies that deal with what people want, what affects their sense of happiness or how they experience happiness. Interesting about this phenomenon is the fact that happiness is a very individual matter for everyone, something different makes each of us happy.
Whether you decide to celebrate this day by making someone smile, smiling yourself or thinking about what makes you happy is up to you. You can also express gratitude, whether directly to someone or for yourself to create an imaginary list of what you are grateful for. Alternatively, you will find your own way to make yourself or others feel happy. All of this is a path to a sense of happiness that is just as important - if not more important - than the goal.(4)
Text: Viktória Hičárová, Spoločenskovedný ústav CSPV SAV