The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the average ratings of happiness dropped by 1.1% between April 2019 - March 2020.
International Day of Happiness is a global celebration event recognised by the World Health Organization. The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of happiness and to allow people to reflect on their lives and truly ask themselves ‘am I happy?”
What is happiness?
Happiness is a feeling that is difficult to define. Positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky describes happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive wellbeing, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” In essence, happiness is a state of mind, made up of positive emotions, along with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life.
In recognition of International Day of Happiness 2021, we have listed a few simple tips on how you can spread more happiness in your life and benefit those close to you in the process.
How can I boost my happiness?
- Give sincere compliments: Lift a person’s spirits by complimenting their work, style, personality or anything else that comes from a genuine place. Not only will this improve their mood and self-esteem, but it will also have positive effects on how you are perceived by others.
- Do things for others: Caring about others is fundamental to our happiness. Helping people who are less fortunate than ourselves is not only good for the person in need; it’s good for our wellbeing too. It improves our self-worth, as well as helping to build stronger, more meaningful relationships.
As well as improving our wellbeing, giving to others also creates stronger connections between people and will help to build a happier society within your community. Helping others isn’t all about giving money either - we can also donate our time, skills and under-appreciated possessions.
- Relationships: People who nurture positive relationships are often happier, healthier and live longer. This is because close relationships with family members, friends and colleagues often provide strong feelings of love and support, thus increase our feelings of self-worth. Strengthening the bond we have between the important people in our lives is vital in developing a sense of belonging and our ability to make new connections.
- Be more active: Experts recognise that our mental and physical wellbeing are connected. As a result, being physically active help us become happier as well as healthier. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to feel these emotional benefits either – there are many simple ways to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine. For example, going for a walk during your lunch break or taking part in online fitness classes at home.
- Take a positive approach: It’s no secret that positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, satisfaction, inspiration and pride make us feel happier when we experience them. However, they also help us focus, appreciate life, increase our mental resilience and improve our physical health. Consequently, it‘s important that we strike the right balance between a positive outlook and a realistic approach to life’ ups and downs.
It’s important to note that being dissatisfied with your life is not a requirement to incorporate more happiness in your life. You may love your life but seek further fulfilment or challenges to help improve your personal growth. Whatever your reasons may be behind your happiness journey, just be sure that you stick to your goals and keep an open mind.
If you need to access our services to discuss any wellbeing concerns you may have, our confidential helpline is available 24/7, 365.
Alternatively, if you have access to the My Healthy Advantage app (iOS & Android), you can view a variety of wellbeing resources including our new video series, BrightTV – powered by Health Assured, featuring a variety of well-known personalities sharing their unique experiences with mental health.