International Happiness Day Celebrated Around the World

International Happiness Day Celebrated Around the World

Dani Gray, Staff Writer

March 20th was International Happiness Day, established in 2012 by the UN National Assembly. The day focuses on, well, happiness! The goal of the day is to to increase and celebrate the joy in the world. International Happiness Day also takes a look at what brings down the overall joy in the world and works to correct it.

Those who celebrate the day have one motto:

“I will try to create more happiness in the world around me.”

Celebrators focus on this goal by remembering G.R.E.A.T. D.R.E.A.M.. The acronym stands for giving, relaxing, exercising, awareness, trying, direction, resilience, emotions, acceptance and meaning. Studies show that happiness is influenced generally by five things: genes, activities, relationships, income, and environment. Your genes affect your overall happiness by 50%, while your activities and relationships handle 40% and income and environment take on the remaining 10%. Keeping all of these in balance will increase the happiness in you and the overall world.

“International Day of Happiness has struck a chord. There were celebrations all over the world: meditation in Bhutan, happy flash mobs in London, laughter yoga in Hong Kong and screenings of the film Happy in coffee shops all over the world. The day had a trending hashtag on twitter and its own website.”

McIntosh students, too, seemed eager to share their ideas about happiness.

“What makes me happy is the thought of me not being alone,” says freshman Breanna Jimenez. “Especially when there are those really nice people that can just make your day. When they just pass you and say ‘hey’! That makes me happy.”

Holding her sketchbook, freshman Emily Harrell said, “Drawing makes me happy.”

“One thing that makes me happy is my supportive friends,” said freshman Olivia Quern.

Freshman Elizabeth King said, “Youtube always makes me happy,” while freshman Grace Blum said, “Being with my friends makes me happy, I guess.” 

“Exercise makes me happy, the adrenaline,” said freshman Anna Pakulski.

Studies have found that Norway is the happiest country on Earth. The U.S. ranks at 14th, while last place goes to Burundi, a country in East Africa. It is believed that America’s happiness has been brought down by politics and materialism.

International Happiness Day exists to help promote awareness of  happiness levels around the world and encourage people to practice G.R.E.A.T. D.R.E.A.M. and spread happiness.