International Day of Happiness

By March 11, 2024March 25th, 2024World Happiness Day
world happiness day

What is the International Day of Happiness?

International Day of Happiness is celebrated annually on March 20th. A day of honoring happiness was established in 2013 by the United Nations as part of an initiative to include the concept of happiness in how we think of human rights and liberties.

Here in the United States, we’re accustomed to the idea that happiness is something that we have a right to pursue. Happiness is believed to be a birthright, protected alongside our lives and liberty. According to the Declaration of Independence, these are our inalienable rights as Americans.

There is a lot of discussion about the imperfections of our nation’s foundations, and deservedly so. Nevertheless, it has meant that happiness was called out by name as a human right that should never be taken away, and which has to be nourished and looked out for.

As International Day of Happiness raises consciousness about the notion of a human right to happiness worldwide, as individuals we are invited to reflect on what happiness means to us.

What are the Traditions of the International Day of Happiness?

happiness within yourselfInternational Day of Happiness is young in years, and like most UN Initiatives, is celebrated largely through joint initiatives by action groups and organizations.

For any of us who are not involved directly in governmental and inter-governmental efforts, we can nevertheless use the day to consider what personal traditions, rituals, and activities foster happiness in our own lives and local communities.

But what is happiness? What’s your definition?

At Villa Kali Ma, we favor consideration of the multidimensionality of women. Each of us is much more than our physical bodies. We are much more than the identity that the ego tells us we are.

We are the subtle flows of emotion, the lifting fires of creativity, and the ephemera of spirit. We are our relationships, including our love and our pain. We are also nature, the planet, and the cosmos.

Given the many ways we can conceptualize a human life, what is human happiness? One way to answer this question is to consider happiness from different perspectives of being.

Journal to Expand Happiness

Take a moment to journal on any of the following questions that spark your curiosity.

What is happiness from the point of view of the physical body?

What is happiness for the ego, the part that wants to have a positive self-image?

What is happiness from the point of view of your emotions? What’s happiness for the inner child?

What is happiness for the wise mind, the inner neutral observer?

What is happiness for the soul, for the spirit?

What is happiness for the human heart, the part of us who loves others, ourselves, and all creation?

What is happiness for the creative spark inside us?

What is happiness for the part of us that wants to work, to accomplish, to deliver?

What is happiness for the part of us who is one with all nature, the planet, and the cosmos?

If these questions don’t fully resonate, what are the right questions to ask about happiness, as you see it?

International Happiness Statistics

Statistics about happiness are collected by many different projects around the world. In studies like these, we can look at how different people and cultures relate to the idea of happiness.

Statistics are always connected to the intentions of those framing the questions and to the parameters of the investigation. That doesn’t mean we can’t explore data, just that it’s probably wise to keep in mind that there will always be many ways of asking and many ways of answering questions.

If you’re interested in the data of happiness, you can explore many resources on the web that will give you different pictures of happiness and its distribution around the globe, the what and the why of it.

Our invitation today, from us at Villa Kali Ma, is to make your happiness survey and start asking people around you, start collecting qualitative or even quantitative data that will help you get answers to the questions you have about happiness.

What are you genuinely curious to know about happiness, your own and other people’s? See if you can come up with 12 questions that you genuinely want to know the answer to, and interview 12 people.

Here are sample questions to get you started thinking about your happiness survey questions:

Sample Happiness Survey

  1. When in the day are you happiest?
  2. In what circumstances do you tend to feel happiest?
  3. When you’re happy, how can people around you tell?
  4. If your only goal in life was to be happy, would you change anything about your life?
  5. What is the biggest barrier to your happiness, as you see it?
  6. Now, what are your happiness survey questions? Who will you interview?

Activities for Celebrating International Day of Happiness

celebrating international day of happiness

The best way to celebrate International Day of Happiness is to practice happiness ourselves.

How can we cultivate happiness for other people and ourselves?

Make a list right of 12 activities that could be done to promote happiness. Let this happiness be shiny and big, whether it’s the happiness we give to ourselves (often the hardest task!) or the happiness we can give to others.

Here are teeny tiny activities I could do to create a little more happiness, right here, right now:

  1. Make pancakes for my husband tomorrow morning as a surprise and for no reason
  2. Have a 4-minute dance break in the middle of my working day
  3. Call my sister back to hear about her big news and celebrate her lovingly
  4. Go for a walk in the neighborhood without my phone and listen to the birds
  5. Collage a homemade card for my mother’s birthday and spend time writing her sincere heartfelt wishes

What about you? What are 12 tiny ways you can practice the art of creating happiness for yourself and others?

The Facts of Happiness

Facts about happiness are constantly being collected and cataloged, and a short dive into the research can surface many interesting tidbits.

It’s also worthwhile to research your happiness, to surface the surprising facts of your own life’s happiness.

Here is one way of investigating your happiness with curiosity which you can try out right now:

Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, breathe 3 very long, deep breaths, and relax the body. Gently softening your mind, letting it melt like butter in the sun, see if you can reach back in your memory to a moment or period in your life when you were very, very happy. Shoot for any memory of being gloriously, glowingly, luminously happy (or the closest you ever got to this). Make the memory or image as concrete and vivid as you can, recalling all the sensory details you can. Where were you, when was this, what time of day was it, what was the temperature like, were you inside or outside, what kind of an environment were you in, what were you doing, what was happening around you and inside you, who were you with?

Using this image as a reference, open your eyes to journal on the following questions:

What did this happiness feel like to your body? What qualities of sensation does this recalled happiness have? Is it warm, fizzy, or fluid? How does the feeling of happiness affect you from the hips down, in the heart and core of your body, in your head and face?

Consider for a moment that this memory is a clue to what happiness is for you. What can you learn from this clue?

Villa Kali Ma Helps Women Be Happy

helping women be happyVilla Kali Ma’s mission is to help women free themselves from the burdens of mental illness, trauma, and addiction. We are dedicated to helping women recover lives of meaning, purpose, and true, deep happiness.

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