Take advantage of the international day of happiness this year, to bring happiness not only into your own life, but into the lives of those around you as well.
How does your country rank on the happiness scale?
Between 2017 and 2019, in global happiness measurement scales (based on a number of factors including GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make good life choices, generosity, and lack of corruption), the top ten happiest nations in the world were as follows:
- New Zealand
Don’t see your city on the list? Not yet ready to make the move to one of these happy nations? We have some tips anyway for improving your level of happiness today, and everyday.
Commit to self-care
It sounds simple, but many of us don’t make enough of an effort to do what we love. We are so busy with working, living, and sometimes just surviving, that we forget what makes us happy. Finding the little things, in the day-today, that put a smile on our face, is one secret to long lasting happiness in our daily lives. This might mean finding the time to enjoy a good book, or watch a favourite movie, or simply to indulge in a favourite meal. Whatever it is- big or small, take the time to enjoy what makes you happy.
Think of others
Research seems to show what truly makes people happy is a commitment to helping others. This might mean remembering to check in with a friend, or sending a quick message to let someone know you are thinking of them. Or it might mean a bigger gesture, like volunteering or donating. Giving back is one way to build happiness into your life.
Central to long term happiness is a network of friends. Friends we can socialize with, share with, laugh with. Building a community of people we trust, and whose company we enjoy, is one way to keep life happy, and to build resilience. Relationships, good ones, make us happy- committing to healthier, happier relationships is important to all of us.
Get out into nature
Being in nature makes us happy. The beauty of nature, it’s ability to awe and inspire us, it’s power to calm and soothe, are all important in building long lasting happiness. Time to relax, and reflect, is also very important to this process of building and maintaining happiness. Time spent in nature has been found to reduce our stress levels. Less stress means more happiness.
Sometimes it helps to write down all the things we are grateful for. Focusing on the positive (without ignoring and addressing the negative) can help give us some perspective, when everything seems very dark. But being happy also means addressing what is not working in our lives, and understanding what we can do about the things, situations, and people who do not bring us joy. We need to appreciate the good, and do what we can to banish the bad. Simply working on changing negatives to positives, can be enough to make us happy.
Support the arts (when it is safe to do so)
Attending cultural events, has been found to do wonders for reducing our stress levels and increasing our levels of happiness. Catch a play, visit an art gallery, or simply enjoy an impromptu street performance, art is good for our happiness.