1st Day of Spring & 2nd International Happiness Day

Flickr Mykl Roventine

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 is a day for double celebration. This year, in the northern hemisphere, the Spring / March Equinox falls on the same day as International Happiness Day. For those of us in Vancouver Spring, spring begins precisely @ 9:57 am.

Do you think this double occurrence is a coincidence? I don’t think so. Doesn’t spring represent a new start, brighter days, buds on trees and the opportunity to spend more time outdoors? Aren’t these some of the things that bring on happy feelings? No wonder it is my favorite season. Spring brings new life. International Day of Happiness brings new understanding.

Why International Happiness Day?

spring-lets-party-quote-600x464March 20 was unanimously designated by 193 nations as International Happiness Day in 2012 by the United Nations following an initiative presented by Bhutan, a country whose citizens are considered to be some of the happiest people in the world.  The intent was to raise awareness that well-being and happiness are fundamental to human life. Enjoying life finally has a place on the world’s calendar! UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has declared “The pursuit of happiness lies at the core of human endeavours. People around the world aspire to lead happy and fulfilling lives free from fear and want, and in harmony with nature”.

This year Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter, Pharrell Williams, has teamed up with the United Nations with a 24-hour event on YouTube. He is encouraging fans to post YouTube videos of themselves “demonstrating their happiness” with his Oscar nominated song “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2″. On March 20th, the best submissions will be spotlighted at noon in each time zone. Please have a look at this incredible Vancouver edition – it is just great!

enokson happyInternational Happiness Day @ work next Thursday

International Day of Happiness isn’t about drawing smiley faces on sticky notes. Happiness is a fuzzy concept and can mean many things to many people. The funny thing about happiness – it’s not usually obvious until it goes missing. When life is clicking along smoothly, we tend to take it for granted, barely noticing the pleasant rhythm of our daily to-ing and fro-ing. But as soon as it grinds to a halt—well, that’s when the longing for happiness barges in and demands our attention

Happiness at work really matters. Every single day.  According to the World Happiness Report, happier employees are more productive, innovative and sick less. Happy, healthy-minded employees really do make the difference in a company’s overall performance and profitability.

If you love your job, it’s easier to smile as you trot off to work each day. On the flip side, if you describe your job with words like despise, you may want to look for more enjoyable work—something closer to your purpose or passion. No matter where you rank on the work-happiness scale, there are things you can do to be happier at work.

  1. Wake up earlier.
  2. Don’t dwell on the negative.
  3. Keep your commitments
  4. Make a work-specific gratitude list.
  5. Use your strengths.
  6. Go outside at least once a day and if possible, take a walk.

Studies have found that, even more than what you DO at work, it’s WHO you do it with that leads to higher levels of happiness in your work. In fact, your relationships with other people are the best guarantee of lowering stress and raising your well-being around the office.

The Dalai Lama said “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”. Spreading a little warmth and connection to others at the office could actually improve productivity, not to mention happiness.

Money won’t buy you happiness, security or freedom. Success does not require someone to have a great deal of money. It’s not going to turn an unhappy life into a happy one however earning a decent living may help underwrite  happiness by providing a more comfortable lifestyle. Happiness in your work enables you to create the life you want.

When you have 19 minutes to listen to an inspiration Ted Talk, I’m sure you will get something out of this. TEDxCopenhagen – Alexander Kjerulf – Happiness at work

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’

If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.

If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.

If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.” ~ Chinese Proverb

Happy Face Image – Flickr Mykl Roventine
Robin Williams Quote Image – www.stampingjulie.com

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