International Day of Happiness: why it was invented and how to celebrate it

Why March 20

On this day, as well as September 23, the center of the Sun is directly above the Earth’s equator, which is called the equinox. On the day of the equinox, day and night last almost the same throughout the Earth. The equinox is felt by everyone on the planet, which is ideally consistent with the idea of ​​​​the founders of the Day of Happiness: all people are equal in their rights to happiness. Since 2013, the Day of Happiness has been celebrated in all Member States of the United Nations.

How did this idea come about

The idea was born in 1972 when the king of the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, said that a country’s progress should be measured by its happiness, and not just by how much it produces or how much money it makes. He called it Gross National Happiness (GNH). Bhutan has developed a system for measuring happiness based on things like people’s mental health, their general health, how they spend their time, where they live, their education and their environment. People in Bhutan answer about 300 questions and the results of this survey are compared every year to measure progress. The government uses the results and ideas of the SNC to make decisions for the country. Other places use shorter, similar versions of this type of report, such as the city of Victoria in Canada and Seattle in the US, and the state of Vermont, US.

The man behind International Day of Happiness

In 2011, UN adviser James Illien proposed the idea of ​​an international day to increase happiness. His plan was adopted in 2012. James was born in Calcutta and was orphaned when he was a child. He was adopted by American nurse Anna Belle Illien. She traveled the world to help orphans and took James with her. He saw children like him, but not as happy as he, because they often escaped wars or were very poor. He wanted to do something about it, so he chose a profession in children’s rights and human rights.

Every year since then, more than 7 billion people across the planet have participated in the celebration of this special day through social media, local, national, global and virtual events, UN-related ceremonies and campaigns and independent celebrations around the world.

World Happiness Report

The UN measures and compares the happiness of different countries in the World Happiness Report. The report is based on social, economic and environmental well-being. The UN also sets goals for nations to increase happiness, as happiness is a basic human right. Happiness should not be what people have because they are lucky to live in a place where they have basic things like peace, education, and access to health care. If we agree that these basic things are human rights, then we can agree that happiness is also one of the basic human rights.

Happiness Report 2019

Today, the United Nations unveiled a year in which 156 countries are ranked by how happy their citizens consider themselves to be, according to their assessments of their own lives. This is the 7th world happiness report. Each report includes updated assessments and a number of chapters on special topics that delve into the science of well-being and happiness in specific countries and regions. This year’s report focuses on happiness and community: how happiness has changed over the past dozen years, and how information technology, governance, and social norms affect communities.

Finland once again ranked first as the happiest country in the world in a triennial survey conducted by Gallup in 2016-2018. Rounding out the top ten are countries that consistently rank among the happiest: Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria. The United States ranked 19th, down one spot from last year. Russia this year is in 68th place out of 156, down 9 positions from last year. Close the list of Afghanistan, Central African Republic and South Sudan.

According to Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the SDSN Sustainability Solutions Network, “The World Happiness and Politics Report provides governments and individuals around the world with an opportunity to rethink public policy, as well as individual life choices, to increase happiness and well-being. We are in an era of growing tensions and negative emotions and these findings point to major issues that need to be addressed.”

Professor Sachs’s chapter in the report is devoted to the epidemic of drug addiction and unhappiness in America, a rich country in which happiness is decreasing rather than increasing.

“This year’s report provides sobering evidence that addiction is causing significant unhappiness and depression in the US. Addictions come in many forms, from substance abuse to gambling to digital media. Compulsive craving for substance abuse and addictive causes serious misfortune. Government, business and communities should use these metrics to develop new policies to address these sources of unhappiness,” Sachs said.

10 steps to global happiness

This year, the UN proposes to take 10 steps to global happiness.

“Happiness is contagious. The Ten Steps to Global Happiness are 10 steps everyone can take to celebrate International Day of Happiness by supporting the cause of increasing individual happiness as well as increasing levels of global happiness, making the planet vibrate as we all celebrate this special day that we all we share together as members of a large human family,” said James Illien, founder of International Day of Happiness.

1 step. Tell everyone about International Day of Happiness. On March 20, be sure to wish everyone a happy International Day of Happiness! Face to face, this desire and smile will help spread the joy and awareness of the holiday.

2 step. Do what makes you happy. Happiness is contagious. Being free to choose in life, giving, exercising, spending time with family and friends, taking time to reflect and meditate, helping others and spreading happiness to others are all great ways to celebrate International Day of Happiness. Focus on the positive energy around you and spread it.

3 step. Promise to create more happiness in the world. The UN offers to make a written pledge on their website by filling out a special form.

4 step. Take part in the “Week of Happiness” – events aimed at celebrating the Day of Happiness.

5 step. Share your happiness with the world. Post happy moments with the hashtags of the day #tenbillionhappy, #internationaldayofhappiness, #happinessday, #choosehappiness, #createhappiness, or #makeithappy. And maybe your photos will appear on the main website of the International Day of Happiness.

6 step. Contribute to the resolutions of the International Day of Happiness, the full versions of which are published on the official website of the project. They contain promises to do everything possible to ensure the happiness of people, following identified criteria, such as ensuring the sustainable development of countries.

7 step. Organize an event to celebrate International Day of Happiness. If you have the authority and opportunity, organize an International Day of Happiness event where you will tell that everyone has the right to happiness and show how you can make yourself and others happy. You can also officially register your event on the project website.

8 step. Contribute to achieving a better world by 2030 as defined by world leaders in 2015. These goals aim to combat poverty, inequality and climate change. With these goals in mind, all of us, governments, businesses, civil society and the general public must work together to build a better future for all.

9 step. Place the logo of the International Day of Happiness on your resources that you own. Whether it’s your photo on social networks or the header of a YouTube channel, etc.

10 step. Watch out for the 10th step announcement on March 20th at .

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