UN embraces emotional well-being as measure of happiness

Today is the United Nation’s second International Day of Happiness. What makes you happy?

The United Nations wants us to remember that it is friends, family and emotional well-being that make us happy rather than cars, clothes and material items. Then, it wants us to share what makes us happy with everyone else.

Happiness ACT Campaign

Organizers of  the Day of Happiness have announced the ACT campaign, asking people to do three things on this day:

  • Perform an act of happiness
  • Visit ActsofHappiness.org to tell everyone about it
  • Share with friends using #HappyActs

Why is Happiness Day important?

With the alarming rise in worldwide anxiety and depression, learning to develop the skills for emotional resilience is more important than ever. Entire countries are taking on measures for well-being and gross national happiness.

Catrina Leona, a counselor at Kitchener’s Grand River Hospital said, “I think International Happiness Day is a great way to gain awareness about the rise in depression. I hope it reminds people to be kind to one another every day, not just on this day.”

Approximately 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80 per cent of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their daily lives.

International Day of Happiness is about bringing happiness back into peoples lives and reminding people to be kind.

Visit the Canadian Mental Health Association for more information on statistics in Canada.

How people are celebrating

Today, Pharrell Williams song “Happy” is getting played over and over again, as it is this year Happiness Day song.

People all over Twitter are sharing photos, videos and inspiring thoughts today.




History of Day of Happiness

International Day of Happiness is celebrated throughout the world on March 20. It was established on June 28, 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly. The Assembly Resolution stated

“The General Assembly,… Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal,… Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples, Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness, Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities…”

—United Nations General Assembly, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 28 June 2012[1]

This is a day to celebrate and promote joy. They say smiles are contagious, and according to scientists, happiness is too.

How are you celebrating today?



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