Emotional Health · Lifestyle

International Happiness Day: Color Us Green With Happiness

I have always felt that our physical environment has an effect on our moods. This may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone is aware of the influence of aesthetics on our level of happiness. When you experience the sense of renewal that you feel from a weekend away in the country, some of that might be simply because you are trading concrete and strip malls for trees and sunlight.

A few years ago I began to wonder why I bothered going to the beach, since I hardly ever swim in the ocean and no longer feel safe exposing myself to sitting in the sun. Essentially I sit under an umbrella and read all day, and I reasoned that I could do that at home. But when I thought about it I saw that the “happy” part of the experience was not any of those things, but the aesthetic experience of watching and hearing the waves and being in a beautiful place.

The same goes for your space at home. I agree that views are important, though we can’t all afford a place with good ones. But we can do what’s possible to improve the interior “view” by cheering the place up with pictures and flowers. In our grandmothers’ day, there was no Prozac, and this was all that people had when they needed a boost. It turns out Grandma knew what she was doing—as usual.

The International Day of Happiness was introduced by the General Assembly of the United Nations during 2012 and was celebrated for the first time in 2013. Through seminars and educational tips and tools, the aim is to educate and increase public awareness of the benefits of happiness.

The original idea came from the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayan region of Asia. There, the population is thought by many to be among the happiest in the world due to the holistic approach to life and the amount of importance that is placed on the well-being of people and communities, as much as material wealth.

For everyone, the day is a useful reminder that in general, happiness does not necessarily come from buying and consuming, or from being famous or glamorous – but often from friends, family, and emotional well-being. Internationally, there are many events and websites in which people may participate.

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  • Andrea March 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I often get the chance to walk through Central Park. It’s hard to believe we are on the middle of all the chaos of ny city. The sights and sounds of nature truly have a relaxing and positive effect on my state of mind. It clears my head and makes me happy !?

  • roz warren March 20, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I woke up happy this morning. Now I know why!