Friday 20 March – The International Day Of Happiness
19 March 2020
Given the sense of panic that has engulfed the world recently, it's hard to conceive of an International Day of Happiness – but it is just around the corner on Friday 20 March 2020.
The day has been coined by the United Nations and is co-ordinated by Action for Happiness, a UK non-profit movement of 176,179 people from 180 countries, supported by a partnership of like-minded organisations.
Action for Happiness also boast of half-a-million social media followers and is backed by the Dalai Lama. Even Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016) endorses UN International Day of Happiness – the first of which took place in 2013.
Action for Happiness also has national chapters with associated non-profit partner organisations in Australia, Germany, Italy and Czech Republic.
Happiness – a priority
The day has grown in recognition as a profound shift in attitudes continues all over the world with people and employers recognising that progress should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy – and that growing productivity without happiness is a retrospective notion.
All 193 United Nations member states have adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority.
“The World Happiness Report offers the world’s governments and individuals the opportunity to rethink public policies as well as individual life choices, to raise happiness and wellbeing."
Professor & Member, Action For Happiness
World Happiness Report
The World Happiness Report ranks countries by their happiness levels. The 2019 report had a special focus on the theme of Happiness & Community.
Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands completed the Top 5
Governments should take happiness more seriously if they want to stay in power
Social media is making young people unhappy
"We are in an era of rising tensions and negative emotions and these findings point to underlying challenges that need to be addressed,” continued Professor Sachs.
The Action for Happiness course that can make you happier than getting married or finding a job
New research has found that taking a happiness course can raise your life satisfaction more than getting a long-term partner or finding employment.
The findings came in the same week as Blue Monday – fictitiously the most depressing day of the year.
The Exploring What Matters course developed by Action for Happiness has been evaluated by a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) carried out by academic experts from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University and University College London as part of the evidence programme of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.
Nancy Hey, Director of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, said:
"Britain faces an important challenge around mental health issues and loneliness, yet surprisingly little research has been done previously to evaluate ways to improve wellbeing for the general population, especially in local communities. The Action for Happiness course takes a unique, evidence-informed approach and the results of this research are extremely promising. Running these courses more broadly across the UK could potentially make a really big difference in improving people's lives and increasing national wellbeing".
The course is currently led by volunteers and takes place face-to-face in local communities over 8 weekly sessions. It is offered on a donation-basis – so it remains accessible to everyone – and has already ran in hundreds of locations across the UK.
Dr Mark Williamson, Chief Executive of Action for Happiness, said: "This course brings people together face-to-face in a supportive local group to explore what really matters in life. There's no magic formula for happiness, however the course helps people feel more connected to others, discover a greater sense of purpose and identify simple actions they can take to be happier and to help others. This new research backs up what hundreds of people have already told us - taking part in these groups is life changing."
In terms of personal wellbeing, Life Satisfaction increases by around one whole point on the 0-10 scale, from an average of 6.4 out of 10 before the course to 7.4 after the course. This increase (+1.0) is greater than those from other major life events such as being partnered as opposed to single (+0.59) or being employed as opposed to unemployed (+0.7), when compared with findings from other cross-sectional studies of wellbeing in the UK.
The organisation says: 'Having researched thoroughly and had much discussion, our recommended response in brief is:
Listen to the experts: Leading health authorities tell us that our actions now can reduce the burden on the healthcare systems and help save lives. We all need to respond.
2. Keep calm (but don't carry on): In light of the latest expert advice, our recommendation is to avoid non-essential face-to-face gatherings for the time being to help slow the spread of the virus.
3. Make wise & kind choices: We can all help to reduce the impact of this virus by looking after our own health, washing our hands, self-isolating if needed and being kind and considerate to others.
“This International Day of Happiness is more than just a fun celebration, it also remind us all that the world is a better place when we connect with and care about the people around us”
–Dr Mark Williamson (March 2015)
Member, Action For Happiness
Picture: March 20 is the UN International Day Of Happiness when we should all try to be kinder and happier. In January 2011, Action for Happiness partnered with BBC Breakfast to produce a Happiness Challenge Workbook (from which our image is taken).
The most recent paper from the IEA suggests that gas boilers should not be sold past 2025, but this has been falsely reported as an outright ban. Click Image To Read More
UhUb - More Than Cleaning Skills Training
From a flexible training tool to providing business intelligence, UhUb is a complete ‘out of the box’ Training & Engagement solution. Click Image To Read More
Modern Access at Forge Woking
Forge is a state of the art office space in Woking since it has undergone a huge refit with extensive electrical modernisation. Click Image To Read More
Germany Leads with Hydrogen
In preparation for an up-and-coming energy transition, Germany has taken a leading role in becoming hydrogen ready. Click Image To Read More
There Is A Buzz In The Global Air Care Market
Winner of UK Innovation, EcobreezeSmart is a low-cost IoT-solution that offers organisational and operational insights. Click Image To Read More
Balancing Priority for Net Zero
Progress and attention to the real issue of Net Zero is being seriously hampered by specific interest groups lobbying for their own aims and targets. Click Image To Read More
First Certified Luxury Anti Viral Hand Wash
A unique anti viral handwash that safeguards the public, breaks the chain of infection and is so kind to hands. Click Image To Read More
Warburg Pincus & Macquarie Capital Principal Finance Invest In PTSG
Warburg Pincus and Macquarie Capital Principal Finance jointly acquire a majority stake in Premier Technical Services Group. Click Image To Read More
The Tendering Landscape in the UK
According to the IWFM, the UK facility management market was valued at USD 67.29 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach USD 70.14 billion by 2025. Click Image To Read More
Call to Unify for Net-Zero
A single unifying body can concentrate efforts from all sectors of the building products & services industry in achieving clear and concise information exchange to drive towards net zero carbon. Click Image To Read More
Leveraging Technology to Transform
As tenants and clients adapt to new ways of working and change the use of shared spaces, we need to differentiate ourselves to stay ahead of the game. Click Image To Read More
Refurb or Replace? Upgrading Your Plant Room
There are plenty of ways to increase the efficiency of your plant room system in a cost and time effective manner. Click Image to Read More