What matters most to you? Do you aim to be rich and successful? Do you dream of a big house, a fancy car and expensive clothes? Perhaps you think that fame and beauty are the biggest goals you can achieve. But when it comes down to it, all most people want is to be happy.
With March 20th earmarked as the International Day of Happiness, UN leaders want people to reach out to those who may be isolated and lonely, since they believe happiness comes from socialisation and involvement. They have also asked people to share photos on social media to show what makes them happy, in an effort to move away from fake media images of ‘happiness’.
While you shouldn’t give up on your dreams, people are starting to realise that looking a certain way and having the latest fashions/smart phone/gadgets are not the key to happiness. Love, laughter and little moments of pleasure should be what we focus on, since these are the things that will propel us through life.
Tips to experience happiness
1. Walk to work
No matter what the weather, fresh air is guaranteed to blow out the cobwebs and give you a new perspective on things. If it is sunny, slap on the sunblock, as nobody is ever happy about sunburn. And if it is cold and rainy, pop on a waterproof coat and wellies and jump in some puddles! Your inner child will love it!
2. Do something nice for someone else
Bring a cup of tea for your colleague, or make cakes for the office. The praise and gratitude you receive will be worth the effort.
Okay, maybe this won’t bring instant happiness, particularly if you avoid the gym on a regular basis. But the rush you get when your workout is over is absolutely worth the sweat and tears. Try to go for a run on your lunch break or make use of the company gym.
4. Indulge (a little!)
A little bit of what you fancy lifts your spirits. You do have to go carefully with this – one chocolate bar will make you feel happy. Ten will make you feel guilty. It’s a fine line, so be mindful of this.
Even if you are in a room on your own feeling stressed or lonely – force a laugh. The ridiculousness of it will make you smile. Or why not suggest a Laughter Yoga session to your employer. These unique classes work to break down inhibitions and make you happier and healthier through laughing exercises. They help to reduce stress, increase serotonin (the happy hormone), boost circulation and the immune system and improve oxygen flow. Plus, it will make for a fantastic bonding session with your workmates, so that your office will become a happier place to be.
There is no magic path to happiness, and we know that those suffering with anxiety or depression might need a little more help. However, these are some tips you can incorporate into your working life to help get you on track. Everyone is different, so what works for one person might not work for you, but on International Day of Happiness, we challenge you to find your version of happiness, and use it as a starting point towards making the world a lighter, more cheerful place to be.