International Day of Happiness, on the 20th March, is a day to raise awareness about the importance of making our overall wellbeing a top priority. Here we talk about the importance of happiness for mental health and share ideas of how to practice self-care.
What is happiness?
We tend to think of happiness as a positive feeling or mood, but it’s more than just a moment of feeling good. People who are happy experience both positive and negative emotions, but they can fully embrace the good times and cope with the hard times.
In fact, research has shown that happy people are more likely to be successful in their careers and have better physical and mental health.
The pandemic has had a massive impact on our wellbeing. The 2021 World Happiness Report found that the UK was particularly affected, which is why the theme of this year’s International Day of Happiness day is ‘Build Back Happier’. We need to think about how to bring happiness back into our lives to improve our wellbeing.
The added benefit of improving our own happiness is that it can help others be happier too. Studies have demonstrated how interacting with someone who is happy can create a ripple effect, spreading happiness to others.
How to improve your happiness levels
The NHS has identified key areas to focus on to improve your happiness levels:
- Stress: find ways to manage stress levels – check out our blog on five ways to take control of your stress.
- Health: make lifestyle choices that positively benefit you, such as choosing healthy food options and doing exercise.
- Enjoyment: find activities that you enjoy doing and feel a sense of achievement when you do.
- Self-esteem: treat yourself with self-compassion, using a positive inner voice.
- Resilience: this is important for helping you to cope with hard times. Remember that it’s ok to not be ok.
- Others: ask for help from others and help them to be happier too. You can have a look at our blog on random acts of kindness for ideas of small things to do to spread happiness to others.
So why not celebrate International Day of Happiness by doing something that makes you happy? You could make yourself happy (and us!) by making a donation to the Charlie Watkins Foundation, which you can do via our Enthuse page. Your kind donation will go to helping young people who are currently finding it very hard to experience happiness in their lives due to poor mental health.