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Share happiness on World Happiness Day

20 March 2019

20th March is the International Day of Happiness. Today celebrates the importance of happiness in the lives and wellbeing of people worldwide. It also acts as a reminder that happiness is essential for our wellbeing, and highlights the need for initiatives that make human happiness the key objective.

Did you know?1

  • Optimism and positive emotions have been found to protect against heart disease.
  • Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins, the happy hormones.
  • Mindfulness meditation can increase grey-matter density in the part of the brain associated with self-awareness and compassion.
  • Evidence suggests happy people are healthier and live longer.
  • The happiness of our peers can increase our own by up to 15%.

Secrets to smiling more, inside and out

Many lifestyle behaviours can increase happiness like exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in meaningful work.  Beyond these lifestyle habits, you can practice five specific behaviours to boost your happiness.

  1. Express gratitude on a regular basis. You’ll be surprised by how your outlook shifts when you take time to be grateful for even small positive things that come your way.
  2. See life through an optimistic lens. Positive thinking creates positive emotions – all of which makes you feel happier and more energised. Focus your full attention on joyful events. This way you can savour and appreciate every moment.
  3. Engage in frequent acts of kindness. Try being generous and doing things for others. It feels good to be good to other people. You can also find happiness in accepting yourself for who you are and practicing self-kindness.2
  4. Practice forgiveness. Letting go of negative emotions and forgiving others makes you feel peaceful and happier.
  5. Nurture a strong network of connections. Strengthen your existing relationships and connect with new people. Humans are social beings, so close relationships are important to both our mental and physical wellbeing.1


1. Action For Happiness. Action For Happiness website. Accessed February 11, 2019.
2. Ten keys to happier living. Action For Happiness website. Accessed February 11, 2019.